3rd ODI: India need 231 after Yuzvendra Chahal’s 6/42
Yuzvendra Chahal made a splash in his first game of the series. © AFP

India need 231 to beat Australia in the decider at the MCG and seal their third one-day series – and first bilateral – triumph in the country, after exerting control over the hosts on an overcast Friday.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar once again delivered with the new ball, getting his bunny Aaron Finch for the third time in a row, Yuzvendra Chahal, making his first appearance in the series, struck twice in his first over to get rid of the well set Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja and there were no handy cameos from Marcus Stoinis or Glenn Maxwell to offer a late surge.

Chahal finished with his best figures in ODIs to put the skids on Australia like few spinners have in these parts. His 6/42 are the best figures by a spinner in ODIs in Australia, beating the 5/15 that India’s current coach Ravi Shastri claimed in 1991.

A solid 58 off 63 balls from Peter Handscomb proved the highest score of Australia’s 230 in 48.4 overs. (LIVE UPDATES: INDIA vs AUSTRALIA, 3rd ODI)

Virat Kohli won a good toss and after a stop-start morning on account of some pesky drizzle, and the tone was set early. Bhuvneshwar and Mohammed Shami kept a lid on the runs under grey skies, with the former scalping the Australian openers in his opening spell of 5-1-15-2. Alex Carey’s disappointing run as makeshift opener continued as he fell for 5, edging Bhuvneshwar’s tenth delivery to a diving Kohli at second slip. Carey had been feeling for deliveries outside off stump and when Bhuvneshwar got one to sit up, the edge was found. Finch scratched his way into double-figures for the first time in the series, making an effort to get inside the line of Bhuvneshwar’s seaming deliveries and a big stride forward. As it panned out, however, Bhuvneshwar got his man for at the third time in a row, this time lbw to a sharp inswinger that kept low and thudded into the front pad. That capped a wicket-maiden over for Bhuvneshwar, who overall bowled 18 dot balls to Australia’s captain. After being bowled by Bhuvneshwar for 6 in the last two games, Finch fell to him for 14. (ALSO READ: Finch vs Bhuvneshwar: 6.1 overs, 30 dot balls, three dismissals)

Bhuvneshwar Kumar celebrates getting Aaron Finch at the MCG.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar celebrates getting Aaron Finch at the MCG. © AFP

Shami, though wicketless, was equally frugal in conceding 14 runs in his first five overs of which 24 were dot balls. Khawaja faced 15 of them.

Kedar Jadhav, playing in place of Ambati Rayudu, came on to bowl the 12th and had Marsh in a bind with his side-on action. He should have had Marsh on 11, except MS Dhoni missed a faint edge. Jadhav wheeled through six overs on the trot, allowing 35. Marsh ended a barren run of 60 deliveries without a boundary by pulling the debutant Vijay Shankar for four past midwicket in the 17th over. Shankar’s medium pace produced 12 runs in four overs, as both left-hand batsmen were tied down by controlling lines.

The arrival of Ravindra Jadeja sparked a brief flurry of boundaries, with thumping two balls over midwicket and Khawaja firmly reverse-sweeping between two fielders. That aggressive intent proved Marsh’s downfall, for he charged out and missed the ball completely. Dhoni pulled off a swift stumping and Marsh was out for 39. Three balls later, Chahal duped Khawaja (34) into popping back the simples of catches off a leading edge when trying to nudge the ball off his pads.

The slowness of Chahal as compared to the wristspinner he replaced, Kuldeep Yadav, was the difference in both dismissals. In his fourth over, Chahal flighted one on leg stump, got some turn and squared up Stoinis who edged to slip where Rohit Sharma held a diving catch.

Maxwell counter-punched by hitting Jadeja over midwicket and Chahal for two fours in an over, but as soon as Kohli went back to pace the wicket came. Hurried into a cramped pull shot by a well-directed short delivery from Shami, Maxwell took his eyes off it and top-edged towards fine leg where Bhuvneshwar held a superb catch diving forward.

Handscomb smartly kept ticking with dabs and steers and a few smacking pull shots, while constantly using his crease to try and throw the bowlers off their lines. With help from Jhye Richardson (16) and got Australia past 200 until he became Chahal’s fifth wicket, playing back to be hit plumb in front of middle and leg. Chahal’s sixth came in his last over, with Adam Zampa finding long-on to erase the wristspinner’s previous best of 5/22.

Shami ended the innings by bowling Billy Stanlake, thus moving to 99 ODI wickets.

Brief scores: Australia 230 in 48.4 overs (Handscomb 58, Chahal 6/42) in 50 overs vs India