George Bailey's quickfire 85 from 82 balls helped the visitors beat India by a 72-run margin in the first ODI at Pune on Sunday.
Bailey, who replaced an injured Michael Clarke as captain on the tour, made the most of his opportunity as he smashed India's bowlers for ten boundaries in his innings. The right-hander came to the crease after the dismissal of Shane Watson in the 20th over.
But Australia's openers had already laid the platform with a solid 110-run opening stand. Bailey was on the lookout for singles and twos from the start, and was also quick to pull, sweep and cut, especially against the spinners.
He held the innings together with Glenn Maxwell, who scored 31 from 23 balls, with one four and three sixes. Bailey, however, failed to play out the fifty overs and became the fifth man to fall with the score on 214 in the 38th over. Australia's tail managed to keep the pressure on India's bowlers and helped set a formidable target of 305.
After an impressive batting display, Australia's fast bowlers then extracted appreciable bounce from the pitch and used the short ball intelligently to finish the contest by the end of the batting Powerplay.
The only time India looked relatively comfortable was during the 71-run third-wicket partnership between Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina, who was promoted to No 4 ahead of Yuvraj Singh. But following Raina's dismissal, in the 28th over, the other batsmen lost their way as India folded for 232.
"The most important thing is the contribution from so many people. We did not rely on someone getting six wickets or getting a big hundred," Bailey said. "A lot of them will feel they had a good game tonight which is great."
He lauded Australia's openers for an impressive show upfront, which laid the platform for the late onslaught.
"That was a nice little partnership for us and probably during what was the most dangerous part for us when the Indians can swing the ball. What is good about Finch is that he has been doing it consistently. When someone is having a partnership with him, the game flows along nicely, just because he's always putting pressure back onto the bowlers."