(Photo Courtesy: BCCI)
Following Yuzvendra Chahal’s 6 wicket haul to restrict Australia for 230, MS Dhoni along with Kedar Jadhav put on a 124 run partnership for the 4th wicket to guide India home and clinch the series 2-1.
Team India rounded off the tour of Australia on a high as they clinched their first ever bilateral series win Down Under, beating Australia 2-1. After Chahal’s heroics restricted the hosts to 230, India chased the target down with 4 balls to spare having 7 wickets in hand.
Continuing with his stupendous form, Dhoni was once again the man to guide his team to the finish line. He remained not out on 87 (114 balls) while being supported by his partner Jadhav, who stood at the other end not out on 61 (57 balls).
The chase though did not get off to the best of starts. Siddle removed Rohit Sharma for just 9 runs and put pressure immediately on their top order. Dhawan then hung on for sometime but couldn’t get going and was eventually dismissed by Stoinis for 23.
With the team’s score at 59/2, Virat was joined by Dhoni, who was promoted up the order. Luck shone bright on Dhoni after he was dropped when on 0. The current and former skippers then put together 54 runs off 82 balls for the third wicket before Kohli was caught behind off Jhye Richardson on 46.
The fall of Kohli’s wicket saw the introduction of Kedar Jadhav, who’s innings sparked life into the run chase. Jadhav removed half the pressure from Dhoni’s side as he began to play his natural game.
With questions being raised over Dhoni’s abilities to finish a match in recent times, he silenced his critics as he and Jadhav combined to put a 124 run stand to take India home. Jadhav reached his 4th ODI half century in the course of the chase. The duo scored two boundaries in the penultimate over with 14 needed to clinch a famous victory.
Earlier, Peter Handscomb scored 58 runs to take Australia’s total to a respectable one after his side was stranded on 161/6 at one stage. Chahal, who came in place of Kuldeep deceived the Australian batsmen with deceptive flight and by mixing up the pace of his deliveries to claim 6-42, matching the best bowling figures by an Indian Down Under.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the one to open the wickets gate after he removed both the openers to leave the hosts reeling at 27-2. Following this, Chahal did his business brilliantly in the middle overs removing the likes of the well set Marsh (39) and Khawaja (34) in his 6 wicket haul.
First, Marsh was stumped attempting to play a wide delivery down leg side, with MS Dhoni quickly removing the bails. Three balls later, Khawaja top-edged a simple return catch to Chahal to reduce Australia to 101/4.
Maxwell then tried to show his aggressive nature and go on a counter attack but Shami held his nerve to remove him and also claim the final wicket to close out the innings at 230.
Indian bowlers remained inexpensive with debutant Vijay Shankar going for 23 runs in his six overs. Kedar Jadhav, too, remained perfect with his line and length for the most part, conceding just 35 runs from his six overs.
With this win, India register their first bilateral series win in Australia. Thus they will round off one of their most successful tours in recent times, winning both the ODI and Test series while drawing in the T20s.
Brief Scores: India 3 for 234 (Dhoni 87*, Jadhav 61*) beat Australia 230 (Handscomb 58, Chahal 6-42) by seven wickets.
Man of the match: Yuzvendra Chahal.
Man of the series: MS Dhoni.