MCG turned blue once again for India’s final game in the tour of Australia to witness the first ever bilateral ODI series win in Australia.
Both the teams didn’t disappoint the crowd as they witnessed an exciting match which went till the final over. India chased down 230 set by Australia in the 50th over. Australia did fight hard with excellent bowling spell from Jhye Richardson and Adam Zampa. However, it was Chahal and Dhoni who stole the show at the end of the day.
India made three changes with Chahal, Vijay Shankar, and Kedar Jadhav coming in for Kuldeep, Siraj, and Rayudu. The replacement didn’t disappoint in India’s win as Chahal took six wickets to restrict Australia to 230 in the 49th Over. The debutant Vijay bowled a decent spell whereas Kedar Jadhav with Dhoni formed an unbeaten partnership to help India register their first bilateral ODI series win in Australia.
On the other hand, Australia followed the pattern as in the first two ODIs. A top-order failure, and Khawaja-Marsh-Handscomb combo rebuilding the innings. However, Chahal’s double-wicket first over put them in the backfoot. He went on to take another four wickets in his spell to register the best bowling figure for an Indian spinner in Australia. An unbelievable comeback to ODI team after missing out a few matches for India.
The second innings of the match belonged to MS Dhoni where he finished the second consecutive game for India. On a day where Rohit Sharma failed, Dhawan scored at a strike rate of 50 for his 23 runs and Kohli departed before completing his half-century, Dhoni remained calm as usual and found an able partner in Kedar Jadhav to take India forward.
It was one another innings which had many a dot balls, strike rate around 65 for the majority of the innings, less number of boundaries and no helicopter shots. The style of his game must have kept the fans and dressing room on the edge of their seats especially when he played five consecutive dot balls in the 44th over from Adam Zampa. There was no hurry, but, a deliberate move to play out Zampa who was bowling arguably one of the best spells in his career. The asking rate was around nine runs per over at the end of 43rd over tells us how much Dhoni assess the situation during a chase to not to lose any wickets to Zampa.
His understanding of the game was on display once again in taking no risk and guiding Kedar Jadhav at the other end to finish the game well. A quick check with the umpire on the overs remaining for each bowler once again tells you, maybe the tinier things which make Dhoni the best thinker of the game.
Jadhav who is also making a comeback to the side made his case strong for the number five with a match-winning half-century.
India must be happy with Dhoni finding his rhythm back and the way Kedar Jadhav supported him. Dinesh Karthik at six, Vijay, Jadeja, and Bhuvneswar Kumar to bat in the lower order. They may think this will be the lineup which may go into the world cup with Hardik Pandya out of action.