RANCHI: India cruised to a second straight victory over World Cup runners-up New Zealand, giving new coach Rahul Dravid and new T20 captain Rohit Sharma their first series win.
Set 154 in front of a packed crowd in Ranchi, India crossed the line in the 18th over having lost only three wickets, going some way to avenging their eight-wicket hammering by the Black Caps in the World Cup.
KL Rahul and Rohit, who took over as T20 captain from Virat Kohli after India s poor World Cup, turned up the volume after the 10th over off some lacklustre bowling from Mitchell Santner and Trent Boult.
Rahul, who moved to his half-century in style with a low-trajectory six off Adam Milne, departed for 65 off 49 balls to a Glenn Phillips catch off the bowling of stand-in captain Tim Southee.
Rohit was dropped by Boult in the 10th over and went on to secure his 25th T20I half-century before handing a dolly catch to Martin Guptill to give Southee his second.
Suryakumar Yadav then chopped on for 1 to make it three wickets for Southee before Rishabh Pant finished the job with two successive sixes — the last one one-handed — off Jimmy Neesham.
Put into bat in dewy conditions, New Zealand made an aggressive start, racking up 64 in the power play for the loss of just Guptill.
But they struggled to score off the spin duo of Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin and debutant seamer Harshal Patel, who took two wickets and was man of the match.
Guptill smashed 31 off 15 — despite a bouncer to the head — while Mark Chapman, coming off an impressive 63 in the first game, made 21 off 17 before falling trying to direct a full Axar Patel delivery over the ropes.