Perth ODI: Steve Smith, George Bailey hit tons as Aussies beat India
Australian captain Steve Smith's brilliant 149 overshadowed Rohit Sharma's magnificent 171 as the hosts flayed India's bowling attack en route a five-wicket victory in the first ODI of the five-match series
Perth: It is the 11th over of the innings. Australia chasing a mammoth 310, are 51 for two. MS Dhoni makes one of his unconventional bowling changes by introducing Rohit Sharma. Dhoni sees it as an opportunity to squeeze in a couple of economical overs but Australia see it as a window of opportunity.
Steve Smith hits during his knock. Pic/ AFP
Earlier, India finish with 309 for three in 50 overs, a score which includes an unbeaten 171 from opener Rohit Sharma. Despite two wickets down and starring at a huge chase, George Bailey dances down the wicket and plants the ball on the seats adjacent to the sightscreen. The risk the batsman needs to take is taken perfectly. It is also the only risk Australia take in the next five overs as they hit no boundaries, but rotate the strike with ones and twos to accumulate 21 runs.
For Australia, singles are the order of the day, but that changes quickly as the two batsmen, Bailey and Steve Smith, have a different plan for India's most productive bowler, Ravichandran Ashwin. In four of his first five overs, Ashwin is milked for boundaries. One of them, a reverse sweep from Bailey. Ashwin is clearly flustered and Australia are executing their plans absolutely perfectly.
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Rohit Sharma Pic/ AFP
"We never thought if anyone was going to have an off day it would be the spinners," says Dhoni after the match. Clearly, even the Indian captain was slightly surprised
at the Australian approach and the ease at which they were able to rotate the strike.
India's main strategy was uncoiled by a masterful display of batting. Bailey summed it up the best, calling it the "perfect one-day chase". Australia not only have brute strength, but also a touch of class.
Aaron Finch c & b Sran 8
David Warner c Kohli b Sran 5
Steve Smith c Kohli b Sran 149
George Bailey c Kumar b Ashwin 112
Glenn Maxwell c Dhawan b Ashwin 6
Mitchell Marsh not out 12
James Faulkner not out 1
Extras:(LB-5, W-12) 17
Total: (for 5 wickets in 49.2 overs) 310
Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-21, 3-263, 4-273, 5-308
Bowling: Sran 9.2-0-56-3, Bhuvneshwar 9-0-42-0, Rohit 1-0-11-0, Yadav 10-0-54-0, Jadeja 9-0-61-0, Ashwin 9-0-68-2, Kohli 2-0-13-0.
Rohit Sharma not out 171
Shikhar Dhawan c Marsh b Hazlewood 9
Virat Kohli c Finch b Faulkner 91
MS Dhoni c Boland b Faulkner 18
Ravindra Jadeja not out 10
Extras (LB 6, W 4) 10
Total (3 wickets; 50 overs) 309
Fall of wickets 1-36, 2-243, 3-286
Bowling: Josh Hazlewood 10-0-41-1, Joel Paris 8-0-53-0, Mitchell Marsh 9-0-53-0, Scott Boland 10-0-74-0, James Faulkner 10-0-60-2, Glenn Maxwell 3-0-22-0.