NZ only needing to overcome swing, seam, spin and smog for ODI series victory.

History beckons for the New Zealand cricket team tomorrow night in Kanpur.

They play India in the decider of their three-match one-day international series at Green Park, ironically in one of the country's most polluted cities on the western bank of the Ganges.

If they can get the better of the swing, seam, spin and smog, they will become the first Kiwi side to win an ODI series from six attempts in India.

New Zealand debuted with a 4-0 defeat in 1988-89.


The series in 1995, 1999 and 2016 were lost 3-2 - each was alive going into the final match - while the 2010 tourists lost 5-0.

Last year's decider, played exactly a year before this encounter, will either galvanise or haunt the incumbent Black Caps.

Faced with a chase of 270 in Visakhapatnam, a batting shambles ensued.

New Zealand capitulated for 79, leaving any alarm-jolted fans at home with barely time to put the kettle on or drop the handle on the toaster before the game was over.

New Zealand were 63 for two chasing 270 in the 15th over - 16 runs, eight wickets and 51 balls later, the match was complete.

Their 23.1-over occupation was the least time they had spent at the crease before being dismissed.

Man-of-the-match Amit Mishra offered a leg spin masterclass, taking five wickets for 18.

"We expect more fight. There were a lot of soft options. It was unacceptable," captain Kane Williamson said afterwards.

Motivation for tomorrow's match is clear.

If the two ODIs played at Green Park since 2008 are a gauge, it'd be best to bat first and score at more than a run-a-ball. That is hardly revolutionary advice, but South Africa held on by five runs over India after making 303 for five in October 2015, and India cruised to a five-wicket win in 46.1 overs when the West Indies mustered 263 for five in November 2013.

The best way to deal with playing in Indian cauldrons is to score runs or take wickets to force the hosts under the scrutiny of their fans. The barometer only rises rather than plateaus if visitors stagnate. Indian fans demand action and expect excellence; if it is not delivered, the pressure pendulum swings.

The onus goes on the New Zealand openers to replicate the foundation which set up the middle order during the series opener. A 48-run partnership from Martin Guptill and Colin Munro softened the ball enough to set Tom Latham and Ross Taylor up for their match-winning 200-run fourth-wicket stand.

Compare that to Pune. New Zealand stumbled to 230 for nine after collapsing to 27 for three after seven overs.

India, the West Indies and Australia remain the only opponents New Zealand have not beaten in away series across the 50-over format. (New Zealand have drawn two Chappell-Hadlee series in Australia and had the better of their hosts 3-1 in the 2001-02 VB tri-series won by South Africa.)

In the Mike Hesson coaching era, New Zealand have had series wins in South Africa (2013), England (2013), United Arab Emirates (versus Pakistan in 2014) and Zimbabwe (2015), and a drawn series in Sri Lanka (2013).

They have had less success - losing in South Africa, England and India - since appearing in their maiden World Cup final.

The deciders: New Zealand's previous ODI series deciders in India

•November 29, 1995
Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
New Zealand 126 (35 overs) lost to India 128-4 (32) by six wickets.

•November 17, 1999
Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi
New Zealand 179 (50) lost to India 181-3 (44) by seven wickets.

•October 29, 2016
Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy Stadium, Visakhapatnam
India 269-6 (50) beat New Zealand 79 (23.1) by 190 runs.