New Zealand defeated India by eight wickets on Thursday in the fourth one-day international after the tourists crumbled without talisman Virat Kohli, posting their lowest ODI total in nine years.
India were all out for 92 with 19.1 overs to spare as the dominant form that swept them to a 3-0 series victory disappeared. New Zealand made short work of the modest target, racing to a victory in just 14.4 overs.
With Kohli sitting out the first of two dead rubbers and MS Dhoni sidelined with a hamstring strain, India’s batting line-up failed to fire.
Yuzvendra Chahal top scored for the tourists with 18 as Black Caps paceman Trent Boult ran amok taking five for 21 – the second-best figures for a New Zealander against India.
Allrounder Colin de Grandhomme also contributed three for 26 as humid conditions allowed the New Zealand bowlers to swing the ball for the first time in the series.
India’s stand-in captain Rohit Sharma’s managed only seven in his 200th ODI and much-hyped debutant Shubman Gill also failed to reach double figures, falling for nine.
It was India’s seventh-lowest ODI total and their worst since making 88 against NewZealand in Dambulla back in 2010.
Boult and de Grandhomme tore the heart out of India’s middle in a devastating spell that saw the tourists lose five wickets for seven runs.
While the performance will not cause India to hit the panic button ahead of the World Cup, there will be disappointment at how their batsmen fared without superstars Kohli and Dhoni.
The third-ranked hosts dropped opening batsman Colin Munro and promoted Henry Nicholls up the order in a bid to stop a string of slow starts.
The experiment appeared to work as Nicholls made 30 not out, although fellow opener Martin Guptill’s poor run of form continued when he was dismissed on 14.
Black Caps bowling coach Shane Jurgensen said the conditions suited Boult.
“I feel like in Hamilton it always offers something for the bowlers here,” he said. “It allowed him to work to his strengths. He’s come over, he’s come around and he’s been quite relentless really.”
The fifth and final one-dayer will be played in Wellington on Sunday, followed by three Twenty20 internationals.