History scripted as Yuzvendra Chahal’s deadly spin bowling and MS Dhoni’s dazzling batting on Friday ensured a convincing seven-wicket victory by India over Australia in the third and final ODI at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, winning the series for the first time on Australian soil by 2-1.
Virat Kohli and Company were set the target of 231 by Australia in a low scoring match with the Men in Blue surpassing the score and posting 234 for the loss of three wickets, with four balls remaining.
Old War Horse Mahendra Singh Dhoni slammed critics by scoring an unbeaten 87 off 114 balls and was supported by Kedar Jadhav, who chipped in at the right time and remained not out on 61 runs off 57 balls.
Opting to bowl first in the rain-hit final ODI, India did not give Australia Batsmen a chance to settle in and wrapped up the first innings within 49 runs.
Chahal claimed six wickets in the series deciding third ODI. This was Chahal’s second five-wicket haul in the format, as the Men in Blue bundled out Tim Paine-led Baggy Greens for 230 runs.
Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar chipped in with two wickets each. For Australia, Peter Handscomb was the top scorer with 58 runs off 63 balls.
The Asian Giants got off to a slow start in the 231-run chase with openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan taking time to adjust to the Australian pacers and in the process Sharma gifted his wicket to Peter Siddle.
Skipper Virat Kohli along with Dhawan who scored 23 runs ticked the scoreboard before Marcus Stoinis dismissed the left-handed batsman.
Thereafter Skipper Kohli and Dhoni reconstructed the Indian fort as the duo stitched a 54-run partnership before Kohli edged the ball to wicket-keeper Alex Carey.
The three-match series was tied at 1-1 after the hosts won the first ODI in Sydney by 34 runs and the Visitors won the second ODI in Adelaide by six wickets.
India will next play Australia for two-match T20Is and Five-match ODIs as part of their home series, starting February 24.