India, who had been quite dominant in the recent times, fell just four runs short of a target in the third and final T20I against New Zealand in Hamilton to hand the hosts a 2-1 series win.
Having headed into New Zealand on the back of historic ODI and Test bilateral series wins against Australia, India continued their winning momentum in the five-match ODI series against the Black Caps to secure a 4-1 win.
However, the visitors' hopes of ending their brilliant away tours to Australia and New Zealand on a high note were tarnished when the Kane Williamson-led side held their nerves to beat India in the series-deciding T20I at Seddon Park.
New Zealand won the opening match by 80 runs in Wellington to take a 1-0 lead before India bounced back to clinch a seven-wicket victory in the second T20I in Auckland to level the series.
Had India won the third T20I match at Seddon Park, the Men in Blue--led by Rohit Sharma in the absence of Virat Kohli--would have become the first team to win the series in the shortest format of the game in New Zealand.
Let us have the look at the report card of the Indian players from the T20I series:
1) Rohit Sharma (89 runs- 6 boundaries, 4 sixes)
Opener Rohit Sharma was not at his absolute best in the T20I series. He finished with the scores of one, 50 and 38 runs in the three matches against the Black Caps. The stand-in skipper's 16th half-century in the second match helped India levelled the series. Though Rohit also broke some individual records such as surpassing Martin Guptill to become the highest run-getter in T20Is and completing 100 sixes in T20Is during this knock, his failure to continue the momentum in the final match cost India the series.
2) Shikhar Dhawan (64 runs- 5 boundaries, 3 sixes)
Rohit's opening partner Shikhar Dhawan continued his recent poor form in the T20I series against New Zealand as well. He managed a total of 64 runs (29, 30 and 5) in the three matches and failed to provide India with initial thrust in their chase of big totals in excess of 200.
3) Vijay Shankar (84 runs-8 boundaries, 5 sixes)
All-rounder Vijay Shankar had experienced a decent outing during the series, having put up the scores of 27, 14 and 43 at a strike rate of 155. His quick-fire 43-run knock off 28 balls in the series-decider third T20I kept the Men in Blue in the game while chasing a score of 213 runs. Shankar, however, was not given an opportunity to bowl throughout the series.
4) Rishabh Pant (72 runs-5 boundaries, 4 sixes)
Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant failed to make full use of the opportunity, managing a total of 72 runs (4, 40 and 28) in three innings for India. Though he pulled back a decent 40-run knock in the second T20I and 12-ball 28 in the third T20I, he managed to help the Men in Blue cross the line only in Auckland.
5) Mahendra Singh Dhoni (61 runs-6 boundaries, 1 six)
Though former Indian skipper MS Dhoni continued to show his antics behind the stumps by taking two catches and affecting one stumping, he failed to pull back magical chases for the Men in Blue. He finished with just 61 runs in three innings.
6) Hardik Pandya (25 runs-2 boundaries, 2 sixes)
All-rounder Hardik Pandya, who had performed well in the preceding five-match ODI series against New Zealand, failed to continue his momentum in the shortest format of the game and finished with just 25 runs in two innings and three wickets in as many matches.
7) Dinesh Karthik (38 runs- 4 sixes)
Dinesh Karthik appeared in just two matches for India during the series. While he pulled back just five runs in the opening T20I at Westpac Stadium, his unbeaten 16-ball 33 in the final match had almost helped the Rohit Sharma-led side cross the line.
8) Krunal Pandya (4 wickets)
Krunal Pandya, who was recalled to the Indian squad for the T20I series against New Zealand, did not let the national selectors down as he bagged a total of four wickets in the series at an average of 29.75. His brilliant figures of three for 28 during the second T20I also helped him won the 'Man of the Match' award.
9) Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3 wickets)
Bhuvneshwar was one of the most expensive bowlers for India during the three-match series, conceding runs at a high economy rate of 9.41 which allowed New Zealand to post big totals. He manages to pick a wicket in each of the three matches.
10) Yuzvendra Chahal (1 wicket)
Yuzvendra Chahal was another expensive bowler for India as he gave away 72 runs while picking up just one wicket in two matches he played. His high economy rate of 9 during the opening two matches propelled India to replace him with Kuldeep Yadav, who added two wickets in his account from four overs he bowled in the third match.
11) Khaleel Ahmed (4 wickets)
Fast bowler Khaleel Ahmed too failed to impress with a bowl as he conceded runs at an economy rate of 10.16. He managed to clinch a total of four wickets, with best figures of two for 27 coming in the second match.
India will now head into three-match T20I series against Australia, beginning February 24 at ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam.