Yuzvendra Chahal was one of the changes in the third and deciding ODI against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Replacing Kuldeep Yadav who had an off day in Adelaide, Chahal was deemed to be a difference maker on the sluggish MCG wicket. Bhuvneshwar Kumar got the wickets of Aaron Finch and Alex Carey cheaply but Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja had steadied the ship with a solid 73-run stand for the third wicket. With Marsh looking good for a fifty, Kohli turned to Chahal and the Haryana legspinner delivered by striking at crucial intervals. Chahal got a legbreak to spin back in as Marsh looked to work the ball to the leg side but he missed and MS Dhoni effected a quick stumping to break the stand.
Immediately, Chahal accounted for Usman Khawaja as the left-hander got a leading edge to a delivery that straightened and he could only pop a catch back to the bowler. With Australia losing their clutch players, India went for the kill. Marcus Stoinis edged a sharp legbreak that pitched on leg stump and it took a great catch from Rohit Sharma at slip. After his first spell which yielded 6-0-31-3, Chahal came back for his second spell to wrap up the tail in style.
The young legspinner got Jhye Richardson (16) as the batsman edged a flighted delivery to mid wicket where Kedar Jadhav took the catch. He got his five-wicket haul when he trapped Peter Handscomb, who scored his third fifty in front with a quicker delivery. The formalites were complete when Adam Zampa miscued the lofted shot to be caught at long on by Vijay Shankar.
Chahal finished with a haul of 10-0-42-6 which was his best figures. It was his second five-wicket haul, having taken 5/22 against South Africa in Centurion. His haul of 6/42 was the best-ever by a spinner in Australia and it was the second five-wicket haul by a spinner in ODIs in Australia, after Ravi Shastri had taken 5/15 in Perth in 1991. Chahal’s haul of 6/42 is the joint-best by a bowler in ODIs in Australia, equalling Ajit Agarkar’s mark which he achieved in 2004 and bettering the record set by Mitchell Starc who took 6/43 at the MCG in 2015. In addition to all the mentioned records, Chahal’s haul is the best-ever by a spinner at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The young legspinner’s haul has given Virat Kohli’s side a great chance to secure their first-ever bilateral ODI series win.