But if this was a litmus test to see how they might cope with the pressure of knockout matches when they host next year's World Cup, England came through it with flying colours, dominating this contest from start to finish to wrap up a sixth successive ODI series win.
Together they had added 221 runs for the third wicket when Jason Roy was dismissed for a career-best 151-ball 180, the highest for an England player in ODIs.
Taylor aggravated a thigh injury in making 181 not in Wednesday's win in Dunedin which levelled the five match series at two games all. Woakes and Rashid ripped through their line-up as they scalped three wickets each with the other bowlers chipping in nicely and supporting them. Martin Guptill was the only batsman in the top five to provide any resistance with 47, before Nicholls and Santner ensured New Zealand had a total to bowl at but it was never going to be enough against the powerful England batting lineup.
"We were disappointed with how we did in the last game when we could have potentially won the series - because we got ourselves into a position [to do that]".
There was little doubt about England's prowess on true batting pitches, but questions remained how willing they were to curb their natural instincts with the Champions Trophy semi-final against Pakistan and two startling collapses against the swinging ball, at Lord's and in Adelaide, as examples.
England now travel to Hamilton for a tour match beginning on 13 March, before the two-match Test series starts on 22 March.
Nepal police say at least 38 dead in plane crash
This is the most severe air crash at the Kathmandu airport after a Turkish Airlines flight crash-landed in March 2015. Kathmandu's airport was closed briefly following the accident, forcing other inbound flights to divert.
Blackcaps batsman Colin Munro.
Watling missed the series with a left hip issue sustained in warm-ups before the first Plunket Shield match in October. Adil Rashid, 10. Tom Curran, 11.
Santner was finally snared by Woakes, though, late in the innings, the Warwickshire man also getting rid of Tim Southee thanks to a spectacular Bairstow catch on the boundary before Curran ended the innings with the scalp of Ish Sodhi.
Santner, who rescued New Zealand in the first match, hit a personal-best 67 while Nicholls was out for 55.
"Obviously opening the batting is a bit different to batting in the middle order so my job is now to go out, try and score big hundreds and contribute to match-winning scores", he said. "It was a brilliant innings by Jonny - hitting the ball cleanly like he has all series". "We didn't get a complete performance all series, but England were outstanding, a very good one-day unit, and deserved to win the series". His experience, ability to bat long periods on hard surfaces and reputation for digging New Zealand out of trouble with the bat, should see him preferred over Blundell against a quality English attack.
The seven wicket victory England earned was brilliantly set up by the England bowlers who quickly assessed conditions and put the Black Caps on the back foot. That's something I'm really trying to set my marker out to do.