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MS Dhoni, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal: Key takeaways from Team India's historic win at MCG

India Vs Australia, 3rd ODI: Key takeaways from Team Indias historic win in Melbourne

New Delhi, Jan 19: Team India created history as they defeated Australia by 7 wickets in the third and final ODI in Melbourne on Friday (January 18). Indian Cricket Team registered their maiden bilateral series win on the Australian soil with the triumph over Aussies riding over performances from seasoned campaigners MS Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Thanks to a sensational display of spin bowling from wrist-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, India skittled the Aussies for 230 in 48.4 overs. In response, the visitors overhauled the target with four balls to spare and clinch series 2-1.

MS Dhoni (87*) and Kedar Jadhav (61*) emerged as India's heroes with the bat after their openers Rohit Sharma (9) and Shikhar Dhawan (23) failed to leave any mark in the run chase and their captain Virat Kohli (46) departed at crucial stages in the run chase.

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But Dhoni's calm and composed knock and the quality to run game as per his plan, along with Kedar Jadhav's sensible innings ensured India never went off the course in the run chase.

Here are the key takeaways from the 3rd ODI for India:

Bhuvneshwar removes openers early:

Bhuvneshwar removes openers early:

Team India had another brilliant start as Bhuvneshwar Kumar got them early wickets of the Australian openers. Alex Carey was the first Australian wicket to perish under overcast conditions favouring pace bowling. Carey was taken by surprise from the invariable bounce and ended up edging Bhuvneshwar to be caught at the second slip by Virat Kohli. Kohli had to dive forward to pouch the ball and got India their first success.

Bhuvneshwar got the visitors their second wicket of the innings by trapping the Aussie captain Aaron Finch in front for 14. It was the third occasion in the series when the right-arm pacer accounted for Finch's wicket. The ball hit just below his knee-roll and the umpire had no doubts raising his finger.

The batsman discussed with his partner at the other end but decided not to review it and made his descent towards the pavilion. Australia were 27/2 when Finch departed.

Shami complemented Bhuvneshwar well from the other end and maintained pressure on the batting side. At the end of the first powerplay, Australia were 30/2. Bhuvneshwar finding his form is one of the biggest positives for India from this series.

Chahal shines on return:

Chahal shines on return:

Yuzvendra Chahal was introduced by the skipper in the 24th over and the leg-spinner made an immediate impact. The wrist-spinner got rid of dangerous looking Shaun Marsh by getting the left-handed batsman stumped by MS Dhoni, behind the stumps. Marsh was looking good and decided to start on the offensive against the newly introduced spinner but paid the price. Marsh charged down the ground to hit the spinner and missed the ball completely and an alert Dhoni affected another quick stumping.

Chahal got another wicket in a gap of two deliveries as another set batsman, Usman Khawaja gave an easy return catch to the wrist-spinner. Khawaja (34) got a leading edge and Chahal did the needful. Australia were four down in 101/4.

He then got the wicket of Marcus Stoinis for 10 to bag the third wicket from his first spell. Stoinis attempted a cut shot against the bowler but didn't read the line of the ball correctly which resulted in an edge and Rohit Sharma took a brilliant catch the first slip.

The wrist-spinner continued his impressive bowling to return with figures of 6/42 from his full quota of 10 overs and rattled the Australian middle order and tail. The leg-spinner's efforts equalled the best figures from an Indian bowler on Australian soil. Ajit Agarkar had in 2004 produced similar figures at this very venue.

In his second spell, Chahal removed set Peter Handscomb by trapping him in front for 58. Chahal also accounted for the wickets of tail-enders Jhye Richardson (16) and Adam Zampa (8) to become only the second spinner after Imran Tahir to grab a fifer in Australia and South Africa.

Kohli's valuable knock of 46

Kohli's valuable knock of 46

India captain once again played a crucial knock with the bat in a tricky run chase after the openers Rohit Sharma (9) and Shikhar Dhawan (23) were dismissed cheaply.

The Indian captain walked into the middle in the sixth over and looked to steady the ship with Dhawan. Once Dhawan departed, Kohli struck valuable partnership with Dhoni.

Together they forged a partnership of 52 runs for the third wicket and it seemed that the chase master is cruising towards another ton. But Jhye Richardson seemed to had Kohli's number as the right-arm pacer forced the Indian captain to go for the ball going away from him.

Kohli was caught behind by wicketkeeper Alex Carey for 46. But the Indian captain's crucial partnership with Dhoni laid the foundation for India's run chase on a track that wasn't easy to bat on in the second innings.

MS Dhoni - return of the finisher

MS Dhoni - return of the finisher

The veteran batsman announced his return to form in style. The 37-year-old who has won India more matches than any other cricketer in the history of white-ball cricket once again proved his worth.

Dhoni - who was lucky to survive on the very first ball he faced in the innings - made the Australians pay for their folly and went on to notch up his career's 70 ODI fifty and close the game for his team as well. Dhoni remained unbeaten at 87 (114 balls) and became the first batsman to possess an average of 100-plus in successful run chases.

Dhoni now averages 103.07 in successful run chases for India a record that is testimony to the impact this right-handed batsman had on Indian cricket. At the fall of Kohli's wicket in the 30th over, India were still 118 short of the target from 120 deliveries.

Dhoni - who is known for controlling the game as per his plan - was once again at his bet as he started constructing a match-winning partnership with comeback man Kedar Jadhav.

Together with Jadhav, Dhoni added 123 runs for the fourth wicket and ensured India reached home with any further setbacks.

Yes, India won the low scoring game in the final over of the match but at the end of the day result matters and Dhoni ensured India had the last laugh on a tricky surface and emerged victorious.

Dhoni hardly took any chances against Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa - who has troubled him on a couple of occasions in the past.

Understanding the gravity of the situation, the veteran cricketer remained cool as a cucumber and forced the Aussies to commit mistakes.

En route his patient innings, Dhoni notched up his third consecutive fifty and signalled a positive start to 2019. He was awarded the Man of the Series - a feat he last achieved in 2011. This was the seventh player of the series award for Dhoni.

Kedar Jadhav shines on comeback

Kedar Jadhav shines on comeback

Like Chahal, Kedar Jadhav had to wait for an opportunity in the series and left a mark with his all-round efforts in the deciding game.

Picked up in place of Ambati Rayudu, Jadhav first delivered as a part-time spinner. Jadhav conceded 35 runs from the six overs he bowled. Had Dhoni held on to the low-lying inside edge off Shaun Marsh, he would have once again lived up to his billings of the 'man with the golden arm'.

When he walked into the middle to bat India were in a spot of bother. Their captain 'chase master' Kohli was back into the dressing room and Dhoni needed a partner who wouldn't put too much of pressure on him.

Along with Dhoni, Jadhav steadied India's innings and started dealing in ones and twos. The partnership kept swelling to fifty and later reached hundred. Jadhav hardly played any risky strokes apart from a few chip shots which he often plays into the gaps to steal those singles and doubles.

Jadhav went on to complete his fifty with a boundary and never looked nervous even as the asking rate at one stage.

Jadhav, somewhere, knew it that as long as he and Dhoni are present into the middle, India will end up winning this game and win they achieved. The right-handed batsman remained unbeaten on 61 as he also got the winning runs in a boundary.

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Story first published: Saturday, January 19, 2019, 0:53 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 19, 2019
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