Mahendra Singh Dhoni rekindled his love affair with final flourishes, anchoring India to their maiden bilateral ODI series triumph in Australia for a perfect finish to a historic trip Down Under on Friday.
Earlier, Yuzvendra Chahal picked up 6-42 as Australia were bowled out for 230 runs (48.4 overs). Chahal matched Ajit Agarkar's 6-42 in 2004 as he recorded the joint best-ever ODI figures on Australian soil. In doing so, he also improved on his previous best of 5-22 against South Africa at Centurion in January 2018.
Play was delayed by ten minutes because of rain and, after the first two balls in the Australian innings there was a further 20-minute delay before weather improved. The hosts faltered under cloudy skies though as Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-28) and Mohammed Shami (2-47) bowled excellent opening spells.
Chasing 231, India got off to a slow start as well. Australia created some good pressure with the new ball, in particular Jhye Richardson (1-41) who tied down Rohit Sharma (9).
While Dhoni was lucky to be dropped on 0 and 74 but Australian bowling never had the sting to unsettle the Indian batsmen despite skipper Virat Kohli (46) being dismissed with more than 100 runs left.
From a dasher, to a finisher to finally the anchor in the last leg of his career, Dhoni 3.0 was in full flow during India's successful chase of 231 on a sluggish Melbourne pitch after Yuzvendra Chahal set it up with a career-best 6 for 42. Dhoni's unbeaten 87 off 114 balls was a testimony to his high quality match awareness as the street-smart Kedar Jadhav (61 no, 57 balls) donned the role of a finisher.
Dhoni performed his role to perfection with world class exhibition of running between the wickets in what could well be his last match on theAustralian soil. Not to forget the 'Man of the Series' award for a hat-trick of half-centuries and two coming in winning causes.