Wellington, Jan 31: A listless Indian cricket team slumped to its worst ODI series defeat in New Zealand, going down 0-4, after the Black Caps hammered them by 87 runs in the inconsequential fifth and final one-dayer here today.
Going into the match trailing 0-3 in the five-match series, the famed India batting came a cropper once again, bundled out for 216 in 49.4 overs by New Zealand, while chasing 304 at Westpac stadium here.
Virat Kohli's 82 was the only saving grace as the visitors failed to put up a fight against the Kiwi bowlers, led superbly by debutant Matt Henry (4/38).
Earlier, Ross Taylor slammed his second successive hundred to power the hosts to an imposing 303 for five.
Besides the tie in the third ODI in Auckland, India had suffered defeats in Napier and Hamilton (twice) and today's defeat continued their disastrous overseas performance as they had lost the ODI series against South Africa before coming here.
India had lost 2-5 to New Zealand in a seven-match ODI series in 2002-03. The last time the Indians failed to win even a single match in New Zealand was in 1975-76 and 1980-81, losing 0-2 in both the two-match series.
New Zealand innings
Taylor slammed his second successive hundred to power New Zealand to a challenging 303 for five.
Taylor (102) put on 152 runs for the third wicket with Kane Williamson (88), who scored his fifth consecutive half-century, after New Zealand were 41-2 in the 13th over at one stage.
Taylor's 106-ball innings was studded with 10 hits to the fence and one six, while Williamson blasted eight fours and one six in his 91-ball innings here.
For India, Varun Aaron (2-60) was the most successful bowler, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-48) and Mohammad Shami (1-61) provided decent support.
Virat Kohli took the only other wicket to fall, while the spinners, R Ashwin (0-37) and Ravindra Jadeja (0-54) went wicket-less.
Unlike the previous three occasions, the Indian bowling started off well this time around. There was a little cloud cover at the beginning of the New Zealand innings as Kumar and Shami made good use of the conditions to keep a tight leash on the openers.
The latter started off with two maiden overs, as only ten runs came in the first five overs. Jesse Ryder (17) tried to break the shackles but doing so gave away his wicket in the 8th over, with Ajinkya Rahane at gully holding on after on a second attempt.
Only 31 runs came in the first ten overs, with Martin Guptill (16 runs, 35 balls, two fours) falling soon after, caught by Shami off Varun Aaron in the 13th over.
The bowler heaved a sigh of relief as he had earlier dropped Guptill when he was on 9. There wasn't any let up though as Williamson and Taylor once again put the Indian bowling to the sword in the middle overs and shared 152 runs off 151 balls to set the foundation of a big score.
After the two were dismissed, young James Neesham provided the late charge, scoring 34 off 19 balls with the help of three fours and two sixes to take New Zealand across the 300-mark.
MS Dhoni might not be winning matches but his luck with the toss continues. The India captain won fifth straight toss of the series and opted to bowl.
New Zealand have already won the series with a 3-0 lead. India are hoping to get a victory overseas after having lost five ODIS (defeated 2-0 in South Africa) since December, 2013.
Stuart Binny, who was handed debut in the last game, has made way for Shikhar Dhawan. This is the only change for India. All-rounder Binny will feel disappointed after getting only 1 over to bowl in his first match. He did not get to bat.
The hosts have picked 22-year-old paceman Matt Henry in place of Hamish Bennett, for his first ODI game and also rested Tim Southee for Mitchell McClenaghan.
India chased in the opening three ODIs and preferred to bat first in the fourth. Now, they are back to batting second again.
India: MS Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Varun Aaron, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (captain), Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wickekeepter), Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Matt Henry, Mitchell McClenaghan.