Rookie all-rounder Vijay Shankar and Rohit Sharma came together to add 75 runs between them before the former was dismissed after mistiming an attempted slog sweep off Santner''s bowling.
New Zealand defeated India by four runs in the third and final Twenty20 International (T20I) to clinch the series 2-1, here on Sunday.
Chasing the 213-run target, India could score only 208/6 in their 20 overs.
India suffered their first blow early when opener Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed by Mitchell Santner in the first over.
Rookie all-rounder Vijay Shankar and Rohit Sharma came together to add 75 runs between them before the former was dismissed after mistiming an attempted slog sweep off Santner’s bowling.
Shankar was the top scorer for India. He hit five boundaries and two sixes in a quickfire 28-ball innings that produced 43 runs.
The visitors were plunged into deeper trouble soon afterwards as Rishabh Pant and Rohit Sharma were dismissed in successive overs.
Rohit, who scored 38 runs off 32 balls, was looking good for a big score. But he went after a Santner delivery that was a bit wide outside the off-stump only to offer an easy outside edge to New Zealand wicket-keeper Tim Seifert.
Hardik Pandya smashed 21 runs off 11 deliveries before he was sent back to the pavilion by Scott Kuggeleijn. When Daryl Mitchell claimed the prized wicket of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the next over, the Kiwis were well and truly on top.
Although Dinesh Karthik and Krunal Pandya made a valiant attempt with a late 63-run stand off the last 28 balls, it did not prove to be enough.
Karthik remained unbeaten on 33 runs off 16 balls while Krunal was not out on 26 off 13.
For the hosts, Santner and Daryl Mitchell bagged two wickets each.
Earlier, a brilliant top-order batting display helped New Zealand post a big total of 212/4 in 20 overs.
Brief scores: New Zealand: 212/4 (Colin Munro 72, Tim Seifert 43; Kuldeep Yadav 2/26) against India: 208/6 (Vijay Shankar 43, Rohit Sharma 38; Mitchell Santner 2/32, Daryl Mitchell 2/27)