Thanks to Grandhomme's heroics, his half century 50 (28) and his partnership with Ross Taylor who scored a valuable 42 (36) New Zealand finished at 158/8, and Pandya had an impressive figure of 3/28.
Sharma, who is standing in as captain while Virat Kohli is rested, had demanded greater consistency ahead of the match.
Around the TV umpire Shaun Haig's controversial decision to send Daryl Mitchell on his way despite HotSpot showing an inside edge, the Blackcaps lost three wickets in nine balls for three runs to Krunal Pandya and after a dazzling 50 from Colin de Grandhomme the hosts were chocked in the back end of their innings.
India had no such problem in reply, making a flying start with Sharma leading the way. Pant hit four boundaries and a six in all.
There was ample support from Shikhar Dhawan, who made 30, and Rishabh Pant on 40 as India made 162 for three without looking troubled. The series is 1-1 tied and this makes the Hamilton clash a mouth-watering one.
New Zealand made 158 for eight batting first in the second Twenty20 match against India at Auckland's Eden Park on Friday. New Zealand was two wickets down and of the two, one fell earlier in the very over.
The short boundaries notwithstanding, New Zealand persisted with two spinners - allrounder Mitchell Santner and legspinner Ish Sodhi.
On the fourth delivery of the 16th over, New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme smashed a Hardik Pandya delivery straight to Sharma in the cover region.
"As a team, we have been good at chasing down targets which is why we play with eight batsmen".
India's Rohit Sharma plays a shot during the second Twenty20 worldwide cricket match between New Zealand and India in Auckland on 8 February 2019. "It was slightly trickier to bat (here), but 20 more runs at the death would have been better".
"It was a complete performance that doesn't happen everyday and hope we can keep the momentum through the series having set the tone", he said.
"We learned from our mistakes and we got the reward for it". Both teams are likely to remain unchanged.
Captain Rohit Sharma said the key for his team was maintaining pressure throughout the innings, not just in patches.