India (234/3; Dhoni 87*, Jadhav 61*) beat Australia (230; Chahal 6 for 42) by 7 wickets to win ODI series 2-1.
MS Dhoni scored his 70th half-century as India chased down 231 against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to win their first ever bilateral ODI series in the country. After losing the first ODI in Sydney, India bounced back to win the second match in Adelaide by 6 wickets and the series decider in Melbourne by 7 wickets.
India were dealt an early blow when Rohit Sharma fell to Peter Siddle for 9 in the sixth over of the innings. Shikhar Dhawan looked good once again but he was dismissed by Marcus Stoinis for 23. Dhoni walked in to bat at No.4 and added 54 for the third wicket with Virat Kohli to give the Indian chase a sense of stability.
India were cruising along before the Australians netted the big fish in the 30th over. Jhye Richardson dismissed Virat Kohli for the third time in the series - on Friday, Kohli was furious after he pushed at a delivery which was far outside the off-stump. He was out for 46 and Australia had started to believe they could win this one.
But MS Dhoni had other ideas. He was watchful on a pitch which still had plenty to offer the bowlers even in the closing stages of the match. Tother with Kedar Jadhav, Dhoni ensured India got towards their target. This was a chase tailor-made for Dhoni. India did not really need a lot of runs and the huge ground allowed Dhoni to rotate the strike, run the twos and confuse the Australians with his brilliant placement.
Credit is also due to Kedar Jadhav who was playing his first ODI of the series. Brought into replace Ambati Rayudu, Jadhav made an immediate impact with his off-spinners, giving away only 35 runs from 6 overs. And in a disciplined partnership with Dhoni, Jadhav scored at a good clip and did not allow the required run rate to go beyond India's reach.
While India will rejoice in Dhoni's return to form and Kedar Jadhav's spectacular innings, the victory was really set up by Yuzvendra Chahal, who became the first spinner in history to take six wickets in an ODI in Australia.
India had preferred Kuldeep Yadav for the first two ODIs in Sydney and Adelaide but Chahal was pressed into action in Melbourne and he delivered immediately when he snared the highest scorer in the series Shaun Marsh with his first ball. In the same over, Chahal dismissed the well-set Usman Khawaja before running through the Australian batting line-up.
Chahal now has two five-wicket hauls - in February 2018, Chahal had destroyed South Africa with figures of 5 for 22.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami also did a lot of damage. Both pacers picked up two wickets apeice. It was Bhuvneshwar who applied the early pressure by removing Australian openers Alex Carey and Aaron Finch.
This has been a memorable tour for India. They won their first ever Test series in Australia and now they will return home with their heads held high. Bhuvneshwar, the highest wicket-taker in the series, MS Dhoni, the only man with three fifties in the series and Chahal have given India fresh hope months ahead of the World Cup.