Smith and Bailey brush off India's 309

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

Australia’s chase may have panned out differently had George Bailey fallen to Barinder Sran in the fifth over © Getty Images

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 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 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.

Full report to follow

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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