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PHOTOS: Chahal, Dhoni steer India to historic ODI series win in Australia

Source: PTI
Last updated on: January 18, 2019 17:42 IST

Images from Friday's third and final ODI between Australia and India, in Melbourne.

IMAGE: Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav celebrate winning the third and final ODI in Melbourne. Photograph: Mike Owen/Getty Images

Yuzvendra Chahal shone with the ball and Mahendra Singh Dhoni rekindled his love affair with final flourishes while anchoring India to their maiden bilateral ODI series triumph in Australia for a perfect finish to a historic trip Down Under, in Melbourne, on Friday.

Virat Kohli's men became the first country to return from Australia without losing a single series, having won the Test series 2-1 and drawn the T20 Internationals 1-1.

 

From a dasher, to a finisher, to finally the anchor in the last leg of his career, Dhoni 3.0 was in full flow during India's successful chase of 231 on a sluggish Melbourne pitch after Chahal set it up with a career-best 6/42.

Dhoni's unbeaten 87 off 114 balls was testimony to his high quality match awareness as the street-smart Kedar Jadhav donned the role of a finisher with a quickfire 61 not out from 57 balls.

"It wasn't an easy wicket to bat on, so it was important to take the game deep," said India captain Kohli in the post-match presentation.

"Two set batsmen there who knew what to do and they got the job done. We've been here a long time; it's been an amazing tour. We drew the T20 series, won the Test series and now the ODIs. If you had given me these results before the tour I would have gladly taken it," he added.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

IMAGE: Mahendra Singh Dhoni hits a boundary. Photograph: Mike Owen/Getty Images

Former India skipper Dhoni's role going into the business end of his illustrious career is that of an anchor, who takes the game deep.

He performed his role to perfection with a world-class exhibition of running between the wickets in what could well be his last match on Australian soil.

Not to forget the 'Man of the Series' award for a hat-trick of half-centuries, two coming in winning causes.

Dhoni was lucky to be dropped on 0 and 74, but Australia's bowling never had the sting to unsettle the Indian batsmen despite captain Kohli (46) being dismissed with more than 100 runs left.

Chasing 231, India got off to a slow start as well. Australia created some good pressure with the new ball, in particular Jhye Richardson (1-41) who tied down Rohit Sharma (9).

It worked, as the right-handed opener was caught at slip in the sixth over. Despite Kohli coming to the crease thereafter, India struggled in the first powerplay and only scored 26-1 in the first ten overs.

Kedar Jadhav

IMAGE: Kedar Jadhav hits a boundary through the off-side. Photograph: Mike Owen/Getty Images

Kohli added 44 runs with Shikhar Dhawan (23) for the second wicket, but it was a slower partnership than usual thanks to some tight bowling and fielding by Australia in this passage of play.

The duo tried to cut loose, as Peter Handscomb dropped Kohli (on 10) at first slip off Billy Stanlake (0-49) in the 12th over. But things turned around for Australia when Dhawan lobbed a return catch to Marcus Stoinis in the 17th over.

While Kohli and Dhoni added 54 runs off 82 balls for the third wicket, it was an uncharacteristic partnership. There were two incidents of confusion between the wickets – first in the 21st over when Kohli was stranded and was saved for a lack of a direct hit.

The Dhoni-Jadhav (121 runs) partnership then took some time in getting going. In the meantime, Dhoni reached his 70th ODI half-century off 74 balls.

Jadhav soothed India's nerves as he scored his fourth ODI half-century off 52 balls, as the equation came down to 14 needed off 12. He struck two fours in the penultimate over off Peter Siddle to close in on the match.

Yuzvendra Chahal

IMAGE: Yuzvendra Chahal celebrates a wicket during the third ODI against Australia. Photograph: BCCI/Twitter

Earlier, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal grabbed his first opportunity in the series with both hands, taking a career-best six for 42 to decimate Australia for a paltry 230.

Chahal matched Ajit Agarkar's 6-42 during 2004 tri-series to record the joint best-ever ODI figures on Australian soil. In doing so, he also improved on his previous best of 5-22 against South Africa at Centurion in January 2018.

For Australia, Peter Handscomb (58) scored a fighting half-century and took them to a respectable total after they were reduced to 161-6 at one stage.

This was after India won the toss and opted to field on a rainy day in Melbourne.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

IMAGE: Bhuvneshwar Kumar takes the catch to dismiss Glenn Maxwell. Photograph: Mike Owen/Getty Images

Chahal, who replaced Mohammed Siraj, made life difficult for the Australian batsmen with deceptive flight and varying the pace of his deliveries.

The start of play was delayed by ten minutes because of rain and, after the first two balls in the Australian innings there was a further 20-minute delay before weather improved.

The hosts faltered under cloudy skies though as Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-28) and Mohammed Shami (2-47) bowled excellent opening spells.

Alex Carey (5) was out cheaply again, caught at second slip off Kumar in the third over. He also accounted for Aaron Finch (14) for a third successive time in the series, trapping him leg before in the ninth over, immediately after his previous delivery had been declared a dead ball for bowling from behind the umpire.

IMAGE: India's players celebrate the wicket of Shaun Marsh. Photograph: Mike Owen/Getty Images

Australia only managed 30-2 in the first 10 overs, and India used the tactical ploy of bowling Shankar (0-23) and Jadhav (0-35) together over the next passage of play The duo was economical even if they didn't get any wickets.

But this allowed Shaun Marsh (39) and Usman Khawaja (34) to get set, and they put on 73 runs off 85 balls for the third wicket taking Australia to 100-2 in the 24th over. Chahal then came on to bowl and changed the course of this innings, claiming the two well-set batsmen in the space of four balls.

First, Marsh was stumped attempting to play a wide delivery down leg side as Mahendra Singh Dhoni quickly removed the bails. Three balls later, Khawaja got a leading edge and offer a simple return catch to Chahal as Australia were reduced to 101-4.

IMAGE: Yuzvendra Chahal, centre, celebrates after taking the wicket of Marcus Stoinis. Photograph: Mike Owen/Getty Images

Rohit Sharma then took a low diving catch in the slips in the 30th over as Marcus Stoinis (10) edged the sharp turning delivery from Chahal

Glenn Maxwell (26) hit five boundaries as he tried to counter attack, but Shami got rid off him, with Kumar putting in a great diving catch at fine leg to push India's advantage.

Australia lost four wickets for 61 runs in 13.4 overs during this passage of play, but Handscomb rescued them from total embarrassment with his third ODI half-century, coming off 57 balls.

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