India recovered from another top-order collapse on Sunday and posted 252 from 49.5 overs in Wellington and then went on to defend the score and win the game by 35 runs. Thus, sealing the five-match series 4-1 in the process.
Reduced to 18/4 in just 9.3 overs, Ambati Rayudu and Vijay Shankar then put on 98 runs for the fourth wicket and their steady building was later backed up by Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya as the visitors put on a respectable total on the board.
Rayudu starred with the bat with a 113-ball 90 before Pandya tonked the ball around for a 22-ball 45.
Speaking about his innings, he said that the plan was to take it steady and play all the 50 overs at the Westpac Stadium.
"It was very tough against a quality bowling attack. Was thinking we should take the game to 30th over without losing another wicket. Our only plan was to play the full fifty overs. Especially for people batting at four, five and six, you get opportunities only when the situation is tough," man-of-the-match Rayudu said.
He added that the collapse in Hamilton was a one-off and setting totals is not an issue.
"Don't think setting totals has ever been an issue. That was a one-off game in Hamilton. Might face similar challenges in future," Rayudu said.
Stand-in captain Rohit Sharma also praised the character shown by the boys in Wellington after a humiliating loss in Hamilton.
"The Hamilton loss, the way we lost was big. We need to get together as a team. I knew there was some moisture on the pitch. If the series was alive, we would have chased but we wanted to test ourselves today," Rohit said.
Rohit also heaped praise on Rayudu and Shankar, saying their partnership was the turning point of the match.
"After we lost four wickets, all we needed was somebody to show application. Rayudu and Vijay Shankar did that. The partnership between them turned the game for us and the way Hardik and Kedar played in the end was magnificent. We showed a lot of character," said Rohit, who himself contributed just 2 runs.
Following the win, India will get some rest for a while before taking the field again on February 6 in the first T20I of the three-match series.