MS Dhoni was the talk of the town as Team India reached Ranchi to play the third ODI against Australia on Friday. Dhoni's hometown was buzzing, seeing their favourite son return. However, the visiting Australians gatecrashed Ranchi's party by beating India by 32 runs to keep the five-match ODI series alive. MS Dhoni, who might have played his last ODI in Ranchi, failed to make a meaningful contribution with the bat, dismissed for 26 off 42 balls as India chased 314 runs for a series-clinching win.
But during the Australian innings, MS Dhoni once again captured the imagination of the cricketing world with a moment of genius.
Australia were cruising at 258 for two in 41.5 overs with Glenn Maxwell going great guns. Shaun Marsh hit a Kuldeep Yadav delivery to cover, which was brilliantly fielded by Ravindra Jadeja. The Indian all-rounder then fired a rocket throw at the striker's end as Australia tried to complete a single.
With Glenn Maxwell at full stretch, Dhoni casually guided Jadeja's throw onto the stumps to send the Australian back to the pavilion.
The dismissal proved to be crucial for India as Australia lost all momentum after Maxwell's departure. The right-hander had looked in fine touch and had reached 47 off 31 balls, hitting three fours and as many sixes in the process.
Australia were looking good to post a 350-plus score, however, that all changed quickly after Dhoni's inspirational moment.
From 258 for two, the visitors soon found themselves at 263 for five in 43.4 overs. Indian bowlers led by Kuldeep Yadav pegged them back brilliantly but Australia still managed to cross the 300-run mark, largely thanks to cameos from Alex Carey (21 off 17) and Marcus Stoinis (31 off 26).