So who saw that coming then? In total contrast to the West Indies ODI series, this was a relentless procession of matches dominated by repeating themes. New Zealand sides in the past have being criticised for being inconsistent. This was the complete reverse; the recurring themes became metronomic.
All of this being set to the soundtrack of Machiavellian antics in Dubai in the distance, and a sea of sweaty orange shirts dominating the crowds in the foreground.
Dhoni would win the toss. Dhoni would send New Zealand in.. Not because they fancied their bowling attack, but because their game has been built around their batsmen, fortified like Gladiators, and wielding their bionic bats. India can chase down anything.
But that theory is all good in India, but here they were away from their comfort zone.
Napier. Toss India, who chose to field. Williamson 71 (88), Taylor 55 (82) set it up. McCullum shifted it up a gear and Anderson showed them what all the fuss is about. NZ made 292.
Enter the gladiators, and a fired up local bowling attack. Four of the top five fell to the pull shot. Kohli was superb, Dhoni was not far behind, but the rest of them were at sea. Even when Milne got injured the damage had been done. And N McCullum slipped through his quota economically without anyone noticing. NZ 1-0.
The template had been put in place.
Hamilton, and there was rain around. Toss India, who chose to field.
When the rain came NZ was 170/2 off 33.2 overs. Williamson 77 (87), Taylor 57 (56). This time it was Anderson and Ronchi putting the foot down after the rain.
India needed 7 an over but Mills strangled them at the top. The short ball, not overused, brought the wickets. Kohli and Dhoni both scored 50s. McCullum slipped through his quota at 5 RPO without anyone noticing. NZ 2-0.
Auckland. Toss India, who chose to field.
A little bit of variety was injected here. This time it was Guptill who top-scored. Williamson 65 (74) Taylor 17(18). The late change-up this time around was from Ronchi and Southee. 314.
India started better here. But 64 without loss became 79/4. Anderson took a 5 wicket bag. Dhoni scored 50. The difference here was that Ashwin and Jadeja scored runs. McCullum got through his overs at less than 5 RPO without anyone noticing. Match tied. NZ 2-0.
Hamilton again. Toss India, who chose to bat. They had to change something.
Another change was to move Kohli to open. He made 2; out pulling. Mills strangled them at the top and no one was comfortable against Southee. Ronchi made 79 as did Sharma. McCullum got through his overs at less than 5 RPO without anyone noticing. India 278.
NZ had 50 up in under seven overs. Then Williamson 60 (82) and Taylor 112* (127) nailed the chase. McCullum lifted the tempo in the last 10 overs. NZ 3-0.
Wellington. Toss India, who chose to field.
Williamson 88 (91) Taylor 102 (105). McCullum, Neesham and Ronchi lifted the tempo in the last 10 overs. NZ 303.
Mills strangled them at the top. Matt Henry made his debut, and Henry bowled fast. And four Indian batsmen fell to Henry. Kholi (82) and Dhoni (47) were India’s only batsmen to offer resistance.
McCullum took 1-33 off his 10 overs. NZ won by 87 runs. NZ 4-0.
A team with a plan, a team where everyone knew their role, and a team who learnt how to be consistent. To repeat their performances again and again. Bottle this.