INDORE, Sept 24: India rode on a strong batting performance to defeat Australia by five wickets in their third One-day International at the Holkar Stadium here on Sunday.
Chasing a target of 294 runs, India crossed the line in 47.5 overs. India thus took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
With this win, India skipper Virat Kohli has equalled predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni�s record run of nine ODI wins on the trot.
Dhoni�s winning streak as captain stretched from February 2008 to January 2009. Kohli�s winning run started on July 26 this year.
Earlier, opener Aaron Finch, playing his first game of the series, struck a fluent century before India bounced back in the last 10 overs to restrict Australia to 293 for six.
Finch, who replaced young Hilton Cartright after recovering from a calf injury, made an instant impact with a classy 124 after skipper Steve Smith won the toss for the first time in the series and elected to bat.
Trailing 0-2 in the five-match series, the Australians desperately needed a top-order batsman to produce such a knock.
Exploiting a flat Holkar track, Finch added 70 runs for the opening wicket with David Warner (42) and raised a 154-run partnership with Smith for the second wicket.
Smith (63 off 71) happily played second-fiddle during his partnership with Finch, whose footwork was impeccable. He rendered the stock balls of both the wrist spinners ineffective, hitting four of his five sixes on googlies.
Finch, whose knock came off 125 balls, decorated his eighth ODI century with 17 boundaries including five sixes.
A docile pitch to deal with, Indian bowlers hardly troubled the Australians as Kuldeep Yadav (2/75) and Yuzvendra Chahal (1/54) largely remained ineffective.
Australia: David Warner b Pandya 42, Aaaron Finch c Jadhav b Kuldeep Yadav 124, Steve Smith c Bumrah b Kuldeep Yadav 63, Glenn Maxwell st Dhoni b Chahal 5, Travis Head b Bumrah 4, Marcus Stoinis not out 27, Peter Handscomb c Pandey b Bumrah 3, Aashton Agar not out 9. Extras: (LB-2, W-14) 16. Total: (for six wickets in 50 overs) 293. Bowling: Bhuvneshwar Kumar 10-0-52-0, Jasprit Bumrah 10-0-52-2, Yuzvendra Chahal 10-0-54-1, Hardik Pandya 10-0-58-1, Kuldeep Yadav 10-0-75-2. Fall of wickets: 1-70, 2-224, 3-243, 4-243, 5-260, 6-275.
India: Ajinkya Rahane lbw b Cummins 70, Rohit Sharma c sub (Cartwright) b Coulter-Nile 71, Virat Kohli c Finch b Agar 28, Hardik Pandya c Richardson b Cummins 78, Kedar Jadhav c Handscomb b Richardson 2, Manish Pandey not out 36, Mahendra Singh Dhoni not out 3. Extras: (LB-3, W-3) 6. Total: (for five wickets in 47.5) 294. Bowling: Pat Cummins 10-0-54-2, Nathan Coulter-Nile 10-0- 58-1, Kane Richardson 8.5-0-45-1, Marcus Stoinis 8-0-61-0, Ashton Agar 10-0-71-1, Glenn Maxwell 1-0-2-0. Fall of wickets: 1-139, 2-147, 3-203, 4-206, 5-284. � PTI