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4 Things we learnt from the last ODI series between India and Australia

Yet another record for the Indian team in this tour of the Down Under as they win their first bilateral ODI series on Australian soil.

Last updated: 19.01.2019
India vs Australia ODI series

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Yet another record for the Indian team in this tour of the Down Under as they win their first bilateral ODI series on Australian soil. This is what one calls a dream tour Down Under and this young Indian team surely deserves it. The first two matches were an entertaining and paved path to this series decider at the historic Melbourne Cricket Ground. The match lived up to its expectation with a good deal of drama in it. Let us see what were the factors which were crucial in deciding this match’s course.

Chahal’s Heroics

Chahal played his first match of the new year and it was a dream start to the year for him. Chahal replaced his compatriot Kuldeep Yadav for the final match of the series and made a statement straight away. While many considered it a wrong decision, it proved a masterstroke for Kohli. The wrist spinner bagged two wickets in his first over, dismissing the set batsmen Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja within a space of 4 balls.


He spun a web around the Australian middle order and it seemed like he took wickets on will. He used the slow pitch to his advantage by varying the pace and flight to trick the Kangaroos into giving their wicket. He also bagged the wickets of the dangerous looking Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis and Jhye Richardson to complete the second five-wicket haul of his career. With this feat,  he became the first Indian spinner to bag a fiver at the MCG with figures of 6/42 and equalled the record of Ajit Agarkar, who also held the record of the best figures for an Indian bowler in Australia.

The Mahi Show

This series has been all about Dhoni’s ascension to the role of the team’s anchor. Although some criticised his slow innings in the first two matches, others

saw the positive of the new role he has acquired. He carefully constructed his innings and made sure he held one end strong while his partner at the other end played his natural game.

The “NEW” MS Dhoni came into bat at No. 4 and together with skipper Kohli initiated the Indian counterattack after a spell of disciplined bowling by the Aussie bowlers. Dhoni was quite lucky to be dropped twice, once on the first ball he faced by Maxwell and again on 74 by Finch. He also survived a runout chance and a caught behind as the Aussies didn’t appeal but his innings was a treat to watch. His match-winning knock of 87* consisted of only six boundaries. He continuously worked those ones and twos, toying with the psychology of the Australian bowlers.

He stitched an important partnership of 121 runs with Kedar Yadav to clinch the series for the men in blue. While Dhoni continued to grind the Aussie bowlers, Yadav, on the other hand, played his trademark unorthodox shots to release the pressure off Dhoni. Yadav and his array of unorthodox yet effective shots never allowed the Aussie bowlers to settle. This combination of ice and fire proved too much for the Australian bowling attack, as Dhoni and Kedar propelled India to a historic series win. Dhoni was adjudged Man of the Series for the three consecutive half-centuries he scored and ended the series as India’s highest run-getter in the series.

Two Pacer Strategy

While many speculated that the Indian team will miss Bumrah very badly and it seemed so in the first two matches but the story changed in the last ODI. India came into this match with only two specialist quicks and to everyone’s surprise, it proved to be a good move. Both Shami and Bhuvneshwar being experienced gave a good start to India with the ball. Bhuvneshwar was better with the new and scalped both the Aussie openers cheaply. They continued to bowl with discipline creating pressure on the batsmen which they tried to release by attacking the debutant Vijay Shankar. But the spinners came to rescue, capitalising on the pressure Chahal wreaked havoc in their batting order. The experienced pacers and the spinners acted like two blades of the scissor which seemed capable of cutting through even the strongest of batting orders.

Dropped Chances

While the Australian bowlers were doing there best to defend the modest total, their fielders seem to have oil on their hands. The Australian team which is famous for its top class fielding, but today seemed to be an off day even for the best of their fielders. They dropped Dhoni on the very first ball he faced and also dropped Kohli. They missed easy run out chances of both Dhoni and Kohli. Good teams like India don’t wait to capitalise on such mistakes and Australia paid a huge price of the mistakes.

These ODI series win Down Under would surely boost team India’s confidence ahead of the World Cup. The middle order, which has been India’s prime concern seemed to be getting together well in this series. In short, this was a memorable tour for the Indian team and this was the best ending one can think of to this series.

Video: What Kohli and Langer said about Dhoni

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