When you don't win a Test in a country for over three decades, you can be forgiven for wondering if you will ever break the jinx. Legends like Kapil Dev, Dilip Vengsarkar, Mohammad Azharuddin, Anil Kumble, and Sourav Ganguly went through glittering careers without ever coming close to winning in New Zealand. But Mahendra Singh Dhoni knows no self-doubt or, it seems fear, and this rubbed off onto his team as they pulled off a 10-wicket win over New Zealand with such élan it seemed a routine affair.
In 2003, a strong Indian team was chopped down by green pitches that made monsters of ordinary seamers and between the two teams 200 was breached only once eight Test innings. This time around pitches are anything but green seamers, and provided enough value to cricketers with different skills.
For sure, this is among the most inexperienced and weak New Zealand teams to welcome India to its shores. Certainly Dhoni's team is one in ascent, with the captain winning five of the six Tests he has led in. But with the weather holding, India needed less than four days to expose the gap between the two teams for all to see.
While India are snapping at the heels of Australia and South Africa for position at the top of the ICC Test rankings, New Zealand have slipped to a lowly 8th, with only Bangladesh behind them.
What little doubt there was about what this Indian team can achieve in what has traditionally been their most difficult assignment was erased on Saturday. From here on fans will expect a 3-0 scoreline, and there's no earthly reason why Dhoni's men can't deliver this.