Australia v India, 1st ODI, Perth January 12, 2016

Smith and Bailey brush off India's 309

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Australia 5 for 310 (Smith 149, Bailey 112, Sran 3-55) beat India 3 for 309 (Rohit 171*, Kohli 91, Faulkner 2-60) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Agarkar: India didn't attack enough to defend 309

If this is summer's main course, then Steven Smith and George Bailey wasted no time at all tucking in. A batsmen's battle unfolded between Australia and India at the WACA, with the hosts seeing a 207-run stand between Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli before raising it through the match-defining union between Smith and Bailey, worth 242.

Things could have been very different had Bailey been given out caught behind when, sporting a new closed batting stance, he swivelled to pull the debutant Barinder Sran and gloved to MS Dhoni in the fifth over. India's appeal was not altogether convincing, Richard Kettleborough gave the benefit of the doubt, and as Bailey said afterwards: "Would've been interesting to see on DRS, but we're not the team that doesn't want it." Already the series has some spice.

From that point, Bailey and Smith took impressive control to counter the early losses of Aaron Finch and David Warner, both victims of the tall left-armer Sran's decidedly useful opening spell. Bailey, and then Smith, chose to target the spin of R Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja, hitting cleanly and straight, before the captain put on afterburners, rarely seen previously, to take Australia comfortably home.

Rohit's unbeaten 171 - which surpassed Viv Richards' 153* as the highest ODI score against Australia in Australia - added to a growing library of monumental limited-overs innings, confirming his mastery of a format where if he gets through the first few overs he is able to hit through the line of the ball with something like impunity. Kohli provided ideal support after the early loss of Shikhar Dhawan.

India heaped together 61 from the final five overs of the innings, as Rohit cleared the fence three times. Up to that point the hosts appeared to be reasonably happy with events, but as Rohit punished debutant Scott Boland for a trio of missed yorkers, by depositing him in the arc between midwicket and mid-on, they were forced to re-evaluate the dimensions of the chase that confronted them.

Certainly Finch and Warner appeared to be in something of a hurry, both perishing to Sran when trying to force the pace. Finch was the victim of a superb, reflex return catch, before Warner shovelled to mid-off. After Bailey's first-ball escape, he and Smith did not panic, using their knowledge of how WACA tallies can be gobbled up in later overs provided that at first a partnership is established.

They sat calmly behind the progress India had made until the 18th over, when greater liberties were taken with Ashwin and Jadeja. This reached a crescendo in the 26th over when Bailey then Smith sallied forth to dump Ashwin into the stands; the over cost 19 and forced a double change from Dhoni. From that point the chase always looked well in hand, as Bailey and Smith posted their hundreds.

While Bailey fell for 112, Glenn Maxwell was perhaps too hasty in swinging for the fences and even Smith was pouched at cover with two runs still required from the final over. However, the stand between two of the Australian ODI team's most recent three captains was the decisive episode in the match.

Joel Paris, who lacks the pace of his left-arm forebears, Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc, had found some new-ball swing in his first two overs as an international cricketer. But that was the extent of the questions asked of India's batsmen, before Smith's bowlers were reduced more or less to battening down the hatches and hoping for the best.

Josh Hazlewood bowled tidily for the hosts, and James Faulkner was a welcome recall to the team after his suspension last year for a drink driving offence while playing Twenty20 matches for Lancashire in the northern summer last year. But there was a certain lack of speed to Australia's bowling line-up that allowed Rohit and Kohli to get comfortable.

The hosts had lost Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc from the team that faced India in the World Cup semi-final in March last year, and much was expected of Paris in his first match. His first ball swerved dangerously into Rohit, but the batsman managed to get the toe of his bat onto it, and thereafter was able to find his rhythm.

This was not the case for Shikhar Dhawan, who struggled to pierce the field before hooking at Hazlewood and finding the allrounder Mitchell Marsh at deep-backward square leg. Kohli was quickly moving the scoreboard along, and his ease at the crease rather obscured the fact that this was his first 50 in an ODI against Australia in Australia.

Rohit and Kohli pushed on without offering chances, content to score at around five per over until the start of the final bracket of 10. Rohit's hundred duly arrived, and Kohli's only eluded him when he was well caught by Finch, running around the fence from long-on.

Dhoni promoted himself for a brief, and briefly explosive, cameo of 18, while Boland's desire to bowl at the death was tested by Rohit's ability to clear the boundary - seven times in all in his 163-ball knock. Combined figures of 0 for 127 from 18 overs made it a harsh initiation for Boland and Paris, but they were then able to sit back and watch Bailey and Smith gorge themselves.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sl_supporter on January 14, 2016, 13:38 GMT

    One down, four more to go. This will be a walk in the park for World's no 1 Aussie team.

  • Cricinfouser on January 14, 2016, 9:55 GMT

    Pathetic excuses by India. Cannot win in the flattest wicket in Australia.

  • dunger.bob on January 14, 2016, 7:42 GMT

    @ AussieNSW: Very well said. Excellently said in fact. It was news to me that scoring 310 in a one day game was such a crime against cricket. I guess people are concerned about so few wickets falling but I think a lot of that gets down to some really good batting. It's easy to brush aside but what we saw here was at 3 or even 4 of the worlds best ODI batsmen score a decent amount of runs on a belter against some modest bowling. The only surprise to me was that we were only chasing 310 and not the close to 400 I was expecting at the 30 over point of the 1st innings.

  • cricpanther on January 14, 2016, 7:24 GMT

    Well played by Rohit, Smith, Bailey and Virat!! It's always challenging to captain, when their bowlers struggle or having bad day, and if one batman failed others cover up but bowling is so crucial and challenging. Now, all should understand how difficult and great bower Shane Warne was to establish himself in fast, flat track which is not suited him!! On the other hand, if you closely examine Ashvin's first 4 overs, you can easily identify his bad line, loose bowling and giving total fever to batman and making so difficult for other bowler like Jadeja. Similar approach of ashvin is notified during CSK IPL matches. In short, when under Virat's captaincy he is giving his 100 % and under MSD's captaincy (from recent few times..not so past) he is giving 30 % so strange. Looks dishonesty of Ashvin can be interrogated. MSD should not include him in final 11 from now on. There are better spinners and i would say honest youngsters better than dishonest cricketers!!!

  • AussieNSW on January 14, 2016, 5:31 GMT

    @NZcricketfan1. Fair comments but don't totally agree with you. I think I would much rather pay my money to go along and see two sides slug it out with a score of 300+ and have the game still go down to the 100th over than to see a match on a green top with a side dismissed for 120-150 inside 40 odd overs. Lets face it we all go along to see power hitting and big scores and it seems to be only "boring" when Australia, who are after all the #1 side, win with apparent ease. Had we batted first posting 309 and were run down by India in the final over I'm sure many would be calling it a great game. Granted the bowlers could get just a wee bit more assistance with the new ball but the wickets you would want to see fall will naturally come as the side batting second gets under some kind of scoreboard pressure and chases hard. The old formula of preparing an equivalent day 2 test wicket for these ODIs seemed to work ok. As we saw in the WC here, scores of 300 are common now days. just enjoy

  • Animesh.J on January 14, 2016, 4:43 GMT

    Dhoni didn't complain about the DRS in the post match press conference. He infact clearly stated that they lost because in the middle overs they leaked too many runs and were unable to pick regular wickets.

    In fact, it was the Australian commentators who jumped and started talking about DRS. The Journalist indirectly asked him a closed question.

    As many of the fellow Australians have mentioned below about India complaining about DRS, I think you really need to look at who raised the question about DRS in this match

  • dunger.bob on January 14, 2016, 3:51 GMT

    @ tahmidjoey: Paris really was off his game the other night. I too have seen him bowl way, way better than that. Nice shape in the air and plenty of variety off the deck. And 5-10 k's faster. I've no doubt he'll be disappointed with how he bowled. There were some good balls but it was only a glimpse of what he can do on a good day at the office. .. I'm not saying he's a champion or anything like that, but he is better than what we saw the other night.

  • tahmidjoey on January 14, 2016, 1:42 GMT

    @BengaliTigersRoar Such misinformed comments man. Behrendorff won't be picked because he just came back from injury and hasn't played a non-T20 match since. They won't risk him. You also haven't seen Paris in Shield and BBL - he consistently hits low 140's - at the WACA he was very much off his game on the flat track. Next match is at the Gabba which is a bouncy track and that's why Hastings is in there. As for Patto, he has a terrible ODI record. Lack of 140+? Are you serious? Shaun Tait was bowling consistent 154+ last night. Pace isn't everything buddy and a simple look at the BBL will show you what pace is on offer in Australia.

  • Doddabasava on January 14, 2016, 0:29 GMT

    Most unlucky fellow was Rohit Sharma. Having scored 171 but still not good enough to win a match. He must be feeling really disappointed.

  • NZCricketfan1 on January 13, 2016, 23:29 GMT

    The big problem with this game as most games played on these roads is that it was just boring. I was really looking forward to it and was disappointed. India batted in an odd way and then Australia did it just too easy. Not exciting or interesting at all. The home conditions and roads seem to make less close games now days our country included. Hoping when Aussie come here that will be different. You would think India vs Australia would be close but it was actually predictable in the end,