Dhoni was given tremendous support from Kedar Jadhav with a belligerent unbeaten 61 from 57 balls in a match-winning 121-run stand
Master finisher Mahendra Singh Dhoni eased India to a seven-wicket victory to clinch their one-day international series against Australia in Melbourne on Friday.
The unflappable veteran wicketkeeper hit his third half-century of the three-game series to again prove the difference after his match-winning knock in the second game in Adelaide.
The 37-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman kept his usual cool during an unbeaten 87 off 114 balls as India chased down Australia's 230 with four balls to spare at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
It consummated a hugely-successful tour of Australia where Virat Kohli's team also claimed an historic first-ever 2-1 Test series win down under.
Dhoni was given tremendous support from Kedar Jadhav with a belligerent unbeaten 61 from 57 balls in a match-winning 121-run stand.
India win the series 2⃣-1⃣! This is their first bilateral series victory in Australia 🏆— Cricbuzz (@cricbuzz) January 18, 2019
- Man of the match: Yuzvendra Chahal.
- Man of the series (without winning a single MoM): Mahendra Singh Dhoni.#AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/2Fp0B0BWvR
India wrapped up the ODI series after losing the opening match in Sydney by 34 runs before levelling with a six-wicket win in Adelaide to set up the decider in Melbourne.
Dhoni, a much-loved sporting hero back home, captained India to a World Cup win in 2011. He quit Tests in 2014, and stepped down as the limited-overs skipper three years later.
Kohli looked set for another big score before he was caught behind off Jhye Richardson for 46 off 62 balls in the 30th over leaving his side at 113 for three.
Dhoni and Jadhav took up where Kohli left off guiding their team to a convincing victory.
India leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal earlier captured the best figures by any bowler in one-day cricket in Australia to restrict the home side to just 230.
Jadhav hits the winning runs. India have defeated Australia by 7 wickets and take the three-match ODI series— The Field (@thefield_in) January 18, 2019
Yet another match-winning effort from Dhoni. With this, India have defeated the hosts in all three formats during the tour. #AUSvsIND pic.twitter.com/4dZQgqqTpT
Chahal, playing in his first match in the series after coming in for Test wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav, mesmerised the Australians with his six for 42.
Chahal shares the record with fellow Indian Ajit Agarkar, who claimed the same figures against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2004.
Only Peter Handscomb showed any appreciable fight for Australia with his 58 off 63 balls before he became one of Chahal's victims.
It was an underwhelming batting performance by the Australians, who managed just 17 boundaries before they were bowled out with eight balls left.
Australia's openers again failed to get a start and Alex Carey was out in the third over when he got a nick off Bhuvneshwar Kumar and was taken by Kohli at second slip for five.
His partner Aaron Finch followed six overs later again to Kumar trapped leg before wicket for 14.
Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja steadied the innings before Adelaide centurion Marsh was smartly stumped by Dhoni off a wide down the leg-side from Chahal for 39.
Khawaja followed three balls later when he got a thick leading edge and offered Chahal a return catch for 34.
Marcus Stoinis lasted 20 balls before he became Chahal's third victim, caught at slip by Rohit Sharma for 10, leaving Australia rocking at 123 for five in the 30th over.
Glenn Maxwell hit a breezy 26 off 19 balls before Mohammed Shami enticed him to pull with a short-pitched delivery to Kumar sprinting in from the deep to take a diving catch.
Richardson played against the spin and chipped the ball to short midwicket where Jadhav took the chance for 16 giving Chahal his fourth wicket.
Handscomb was trapped plumb in front of his stumps by Chahal in the 46th over and Australia's innings rattled to a quick close.
Adam Zampa charged down the wicket to Chahal and holed out to Vijay Shankar at long-on for eight and Billy Stanlake was bowled by Shami for a duck.
Australia INNINGS R B
A. Carey c Kohli b Kumar 5 11
A. Finch lbw b Kumar 14 24
U. Khawaja c & b Chahal 34 51
S. Marsh st Dhoni b Chahal 39 54
P. Handscomb lbw b Chahal 58 63
M. Stoinis c Sharma b Chahal 10 20
G. Maxwell c Kumar b Shami 26 19
J. Richardson c Jadhav b Chahal 16 23
A. Zampa c Shankar b Chahal 8 14
P. Siddle not out 10 11
B. Stanlake b Shami 0 2
Extras (lb2, w8) 10
Total (all out; 48.4 overs) 230
Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Carey), 2-27 (Finch), 3-100 (Marsh), 4-101 (Khawaja), 5-123 (Stoinis), 6-161 (Maxwell), 7-206 (Richardson), 8-219 (Handscomb), 9-228 (Zampa), 10-230 (Stanlake)
Bowling: Kumar 8-1-28-2, Shami 9.4-0-47-2 (1w), Shankar 6-0-23-0 (2w), Jadhav 6-0-35-0, Jadeja 9-0-53-0 (4w), Chahal 10-0-42-6 (1w)
India INNINGS R B
R. Sharma c Marsh b Siddle 9 17
S. Dhawan c & b Stoinis 23 46
V. Kohli c Carey b Richardson 46 62
M.S. Dhoni not out 87 114
K. Jadhav not out 61 57
Extras (lb1, w7) 8
Total (3 wickets; 49.2 overs) 234
Fall of wickets: 1-15 (Sharma), 2-59 (Dhawan), 3-113 (Kohli)
Bowling: Richardson 10-1-27-1 (2w), Siddle 9-1-56-1 (3w), Stanlake 10-0-49-0 (1w), Maxwell 1-0-7-0, Zampa 10-0-34-0, Stoinis 9.2-0-60-1 (1w)
Result: India won by 7 wickets
Series: India 2-1
MoM: Yuzvendra Chahal
MoS: MS Dhoni