‘Finisher’ MS Dhoni shuts up critics, leads India to historic ODI series victory in Australia
MS Dhoni showed he is still the best finisher as he remained unbeaten on 87 and led India to a fantastic seven-wicket victory over Australia in the third One-Day International (ODI) on Friday.
With the victory in the third ODI at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), India clinched the three-match series 2-1 and recorded their maiden bilateral series on the Australian soil. It was India’s just second bilateral series Down Under after the 2016 series, which the hosts had won 4-1.
Chasing 231, India lost the openers, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan early in the innings and it was again Virat Kohli and Dhoni who laid the foundation with their 54-run stand for the third wicket.
Australian fast bowler Jhye Richardson for the third time in the three-match series dismissed the Indian skipper. In a repeat of Kohli’s 2014 issue, he went after the away ball with a drive before he got a hard edge that went into the safe hands of Alex Carey behind the wickets.
Kedar Jadhav, the new man in, along with Dhoni took India forward from there and ensured the Men in Blue finished on the winning side in the end on Friday. Dhoni and Jadhav shared a 121-run stand for the fourth wicket as the match went down to the wires but India won with four balls to spare.
Dhoni, who was dropped on 0 and 74, scored 90 off 114 and his knock was inclusive of five boundaries. On the other hand, playing his maiden ODI in Australia, Jadhav scored an unbeaten 61 off 57, his career’s fourth ODI half-century.
Earlier in the day, Indian leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal grabbed his first opportunity in the series with both hands as he claimed a career-best 6 for 42 to decimate Australia for a paltry 230 in the first innings.
At the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, 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.
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