The high-voltage decider of the India-Australia bilateral ODI series finally resulted in MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadav heroics at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Friday.
Team India beat Australia by 7 wickets overcoming 230 set by Australia in 49.2 overs.
Earlier in India’s innings, Rohit Sharma fell to pacer Peter Siddle while playing across the line giving a leading edge to Shaun Marsh at first slip. Then Shikhar Dhawan didn’t show his flair and rather played a sedate innings and was out on 23 after being caught and bowled by Marcus Stoinis.
India rode on luck as MS Dhoni was dropped a sitter at backward point by Glenn Maxwell of Marcus Stoinis delivery.
Later, captain Virat Kohli and wicket keeper MS Dhoni steered the innings, seizing control. Both of them rotated the strike well enough till Kohli fell to a trap set by Jhye Richardson bowling the outside off stump line and Kohli going for a sumptuous drive mistimed it to the Australian wicket keeper Alex Carey.
Kedar Jadav who took Ambati Rayudu’s place showed tremendous resolve in the tumultuous situation and stitched a meaningful partnership with MS Dhoni playing each ball according to its merit. The pair stitched a hundred plus partnership, took less risk and took the Indian team to the cleaners.
Dhoni and Jadav both scored unbeaten half centuries.
Earlier, Yuzvendra Chahal in place of Kuldeep Yadav bowled the best bowling figures of 6 for 42 by an Indian bowler in an ODI in Australia.
After pacer Bhuvaneswar Kumar made the early inroads into the Australian innings by snapping both openers, Chahal broke the back bone of the Australian batting line up. From overcast conditions to a flat deck at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground), Chahal defied all odds and cast a web around the Australian batters and gulped them one by one with subtlety and guile.
The leggie Chahal matched his best bowling figures with former Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar way back in 2004 at the MCG itself.
Mohammad Shami did the honours taking the last wicket and chipped in with two wickets.
While the Australian innings never got off the blocks, as Team India never made them settle from the start. Peter Handscomb was the top scorer and the only half centurion in their innings. Australia was laying foundation when contributions from last match centurion Shaun Marsh (39) and Usman Khwaja (34) held them in good stead till Chahal burst into them. Glenn Maxwell tried to take control of the innings by blasting boundaries, however his short stay was cut short when he top edged a Mohammad Shami delivery to which Bhuvaneswar Kumar effected a gasping sprint-diving catch at fine leg.
Team Australia set a target of 231 for team India after bundling out for 230 in 48.4 overs.
Earlier before the start of the series decider, Team India won the toss and captain Virat Kohli opt to bowl first seeing the grey skies.
Team India lifted the first ever bilateral trophy Down Under and Yuzvendra Chahal won the ‘Man of the Match’.
MS Dhoni for his three fifty plus scores in each ODI won the ‘Man of the Series’ award.
Team India tied the T20 series, won the test series by 3-1 in 71 years and triumphed the first bilateral ODI series win in Australia in 2018-19 for the first time.