Team India signed off their long and gruelling Australia tour on a victorious note as Virat Kohli’s men thumped Australia in the third and final one-dayinternational (ODI) at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and clinched their maiden bilateral ODI series victory on Australian soil.
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 18, 2019
MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav shared 121 runs for the fourth wicket to lead India to a successful run-chase. Asked to chase a total of 231 in the decider, India did not have a good start as in-form batsman Rohit Sharma was dismissed in the sixth over. Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli put up 44 runs for the second wicket but the former failed to capitalise on a good start and was dismissed on 23.
Dhoni, who was promoted to bat at number four, joined Kohli in the middle to put India behind the chase. The two experienced batsmen shared 54 runs for the third wicket but the Indian skipper edged one to wicket-keeper Alex Carey off Jhye Richardson, who dismissed him for the third consecutive time in the series.
Dhoni was later joined by Kedar Jadhav on the crease and stayed till the end of the match, also hitting the match-winning runs. He had replaced Ambati Rayudu in the playing XI and capitalised the opportunity in the first go.
Earlier in the innings, the risk of India to rest Kuldeep Yadav and bring in Yuzvendra Chahal worked for the visitors as the leggie bagged a six-fer to restrict Australia on a low score of 230. Bhuvneshwar Kumar played his part well by dismissing both the openers and later, Chahal did rest of the work.
For Australia, Peter Handscomb was the highest run-scorer with an innings of 58 off 63. Shaun Marsh (39) and Usman Khawaja (34) got good starts but were sent back by Chahal in a single over, which derailed their chances of putting up a big score. Late work from Handscomb saw Australia put up a defendable target but that wasn’t enough for Australia to win their first series in two years.