Indian captain Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first on an overcast day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Bhuvneshwar Kumar got things rolling by dismissing Alex Carey early in the piece. Aaron Finch, who has struggled all series, adopted a different approach to counter the threat of Bhuvneshwar.
He stood outside his crease in order to be close to the pitch of the ball and minimise the movement. It was working nicely for the Australian captain as he was seeing off the new ball.
However, MS Dhoni decided to intervene as he ran up to Bhuvneshwar and asked him to deliver a ball from way behind in the popping crease in order to increase the length.
The fast-bowler did so, but then Finch moved away just as the ball was delivered. The umpire deemed it a dead ball, which led to a few arguments in the middle.
The Dhoni intervention
Bhuvneshwar then went back to his normal delivery stride in the next ball and trapped Finch right in front of the stumps. In many ways, the previous ball hampered Finch's concentration and his wretched series ended with the bat.
India made three changes to their side. Kedar Jadhav replaced Ambati Rayudu, Vijay Shankar walked in the side in place of Mohammed Siraj, and Yuzvendra Chahal replaced Kuldeep Yadav.
"We're having a bowl first. It's quite overcast. It's going to be stop-start, with the rain around, and as a batsman we are never in, so that's the idea. We've had a good tour and we want to finish on a high. Levelling the series was important, now both the teams are set up for the decider. All the boys are motivated for the game. I had to get into a zone in Adelaide because the situation demanded it, Rohit, DK and MS batted beautifully as well so it was a total team effort," Kohli said at the toss.