India ended an utterly forgettable tour of New Zealand by forcing a draw in the second and final Test at the Basin Reserve, in Wellington, on Tuesday.
Captain Brendon McCullum became the first New Zealand batsman to hit a triple century. His knock helped the home side stage an incredible turnaround that ensured them a memorable series win.
The Black Caps captain struck a historic 302, while BJ Watling scored 124 and debutant James Neesham an unbeaten 137, as New Zealand declared their second innings at 680 for eight, giving India an improbable 435 runs to chase in little over two sessions of play.
India overcame some anxious moments before finishing on 166 for three in 52 overs.
Virat Kohli smashed his sixth Test century and was unbeaten on 105, while Rohit Sharma was not out on 31, the two adding 112 runs for the fourth wicket to take India to safety, before the two captains decided to call off the proceedings with no result in sight.
It turned out to be a disastrous tour for India. They lost the ODI series 0-4 and the Test series 0-1 following the 40-run loss in the first Test at Auckland.
India looked like winning this second Test after reducing New Zealand to 94 for five in their second innings, but McCullum staged a remarkable fightback and together with Watling shared a world record partnership of 352 runs for the sixth wicket to nullify the threat.
After Watling's departure, McCullum stitched another crucial 179-run stand with Neesham for the seventh wicket to take the match beyond India's reach.
McCullum's 302 runs overtook Martin Crowe's 299, scored against Sri Lanka, also at the same ground, in 1991, to become highest individual Test scorer for New Zealand. It was also the third-highest innings by a number five batsman in Test cricket after Michael Clarke's 329 not out against India in 2012 and Sir Don Bradman's 304 against England in 1934.
McCullum's effort is also the second-highest individual score in the second innings, after Hanif Mohammad's 337 against the West Indies in 1958. Overall, he is the 24th Test batsman to hit a triple hundred, while this is the 28th instance of a triple-hundred being scored.
Chasing a 435-run target, India lost their top three batsmen in the post-lunch session at the Basin Reserve, but Kohli stood tall, scoring an unbeaten 105 off just 135 balls, with the help of 15 fours and one six, to steady India's ship after they were reduced to 54 for three.
He reached his century in the 49th over of the innings off 129 balls. He made good use of a life he was given in the 13th over in the post-lunch session at his personal score of 23, when umpire Steve Davis failed to notice an edge off Trent Boult.
Kohli and Rohit put on an unbeaten 112 runs for the fourth-wicket to deny New Zealand any inroads.
In the morning session, New Zealand rode on McCullum's historic 302 and debutant Neesham's unbeaten 137 to declare their second innings at 680 for eight in 210 overs, an overall lead of 434 runs.
Starting at 10 for no loss post-lunch, India had the simple task of batting out two sessions to save the Test. But, as has been the story on the tour, wherein they did not win a single game, the visitors botched up the chase.
Openers Shikhar Dhawan (2) and Murali Vijay (7) were dismissed soon after resumption of play. While the former was out in the very first over after lunch, leg before to Trent Boult (1-30), the delivery hitting the top of his pads, the latter departed in the next over, caught at third slip by Corey Anderson off Tim Southee (2-33).
Southee added another to his wicket-tally, breaking the 44-run third-wicket partnership between Cheteshwar Pujara (17) and Kohli. A sharp bouncer kissed Pujara's glove on its way to wicket-keeper Watling, bringing an end to a disappointing tour for him.
Earlier, McCullum struck Zaheer Khan for a four in front of third man to reach the 300 runs landmark in the 200th over of the Black Caps's second innings.
He started the final day of India's tour on 281 not out, needing another 19 runs to get to that magical landmark. At the other end was debutant Neesham (67 not out) as New Zealand started from the overnight score of 571 for six under overcast skies.
It didn't matter much as Neesham cut loose almost immediately, while McCullum was more subdued and took his time. Neesham struck six lusty boundaries early into the day's play and reached his maiden Test hundred in the 199th over of the innings, facing 124 balls and hitting 15 fours.
But the main focus was on McCullum, who joined that exclusive 300-run club in the next over, as the entire stadium stood to salute the historic knock.
McCullum, however, didn't last long thereafter; he edged one to Doni off Zaheer and was out after facing 559 balls and hitting 32 fours and four sixes.
Two overs later, Zaheer completed a five-wicket haul, as Tim Southee (11) gave a skier to Pujara. It was the first time in his 92-Test career that the Indian pacer bowled 50 overs in a single innings.
New Zealand did not declare as anticipated and carried on a bit longer, even as India put on their part-timers.
In the end, the Black Caps reached their highest Test innings total, overtaking their effort of 671 for four against Sri Lanka in 1991, also at Wellington.
Neesham was unbeaten on 137, the highest individual score by a batsman on debut batting lower than number seven, beating Azhar Mahmood's 128 not out against South Africa in 1997. It was also the highest score by a New Zealand batsman on debut, beating Scott Styris's 107 against the West Indies in 2002.
Zaheer was India's highest wicket-taker in the innings with a haul of five for 170.
Mohammad Shami (2-149) and Ravindra Jadeja (1-115) also picked wickets, while Ishant Sharma (0-164) saw the other side of the coin after claiming career-best figures of 6 for 51 in the first innings.
Image: Man of the match Brendon McCullum celebrates the series triumph with teammates on Day 5 of the second Test against India in Wellington.
Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images