HOBART, Australia, (CMC):
Captain Brendon McCullum has hailed the recent tour win over world champions India as one of the best in New Zealand's Twenty20 cricket history.
West Indies rated among the best teams in the shortest format when they defeated New Zealand by seven wickets in Dunedin last Thursday.
"That was probably one of the toughest tests we've faced in this format, and I don't think it could have been stronger," said McCullum, ahead of this morning's third Twenty20 in Sydney.
"To stand up against a world-beating team like India, and with the conditions in Dunedin which was a little bit brutal, I think that's probably the perfect scenario for the guys to take a lot of confidence into the summer."
New Zealand have fought their way back to fourth position in the world rankings, after ending in last place earlier this month.
McCullum said that the tour also helped stave off pressure from the home public.
"Our cricket has been inconsistent in the series and it's good for the guys to go away and find the balance and stand up and show the character and how you react under pressure," he said.
"The timing was right for us to come back home in the middle of a tournament to win that Test series and we're now one win away from winning the Twenty20 series as well."
Needing 66 from the last three overs of the innings, the Black Caps marched on to cruise to an easy victory.
They have now won two and lost two out of their three matches in the limited overs series while the hosts have won both of their games.