India vs Australia, 1st ODI: Highlights from SCG match - Rohit Sharma's brilliance and more
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, Australia rode on half-centuries from Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb in order to register a formidable total of 288/5 on a slow surface.
India's run-chase started on a horrific note as exceptional seam bowling reduced their top-order to rubble. But Rohit anchored the innings and played splendidly to allow the visitors to contemplate a productive pursuit.
However, Rohit eventually ran out of partners before getting dismissed himself. Although they batted out the entire 50 overs, India fell short of the target by 34 runs.
Here are five of the most engrossing passages of play from the Sydney ODI.
#5 Handscomb injects life into Australian batting
Taking the baton from Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb joined Shaun Marsh in the middle when Australia were 133/3. While the seasoned left-hander was gradually finding his rhythm, he did the smart thing by rotating the strike.
Once Marsh fell in the 38th over, Handscomb took matters into his own hands and began reverting pressure on the Indian bowlers. He smacked Kuldeep for two sixes in the same over before hammering Bhuvneshwar for two boundaries in the space of five balls.
After plundering a six off Bhuvneshwar, Handscomb holed out to Shikhar Dhawan in the 48th over. However, by that time, he had scored 73 off 61 to lift Australia to a strong total.
#4 Swing and seam shreds India's top-order
With the regular pace trio rested, the likes of Jason Behrendorff and Jhye Richardson got the opportunity to take the two new balls. They grabbed the chance by putting on a stellar exhibition of swing and seam.
Behrendorff got Australia off to a strong start by trapping Shikhar Dhawan in front for a golden duck. Aided by excellent field placement, Richardson acquired the prized scalp of Virat Kohli.
Richardson proceeded to remove Ambati Rayudu as well and left India reeling at 4/3 at the end of the fourth over.
#3 Unlucky Dhoni given out wrongly
Already under immense pressure due to his diminishing returns in the last two years, Dhoni walked into a crisis. With the top-order, aside from Rohit Sharma, reduced to rubble, the onus was on the former skipper to steady the ship.
In the company of Rohit, Dhoni helped India get the run-chase back on track. As he has done so often in his career, he absorbed pressure like a sponge and built a partnership with the in-form opener.
Just after he reached his half-century, Dhoni was adjudged leg-before off Behrendorff. However, replays showed that the ball had pitched outside the leg stump. Unfortunately for India, there was no review available as Rayudu had already used it up.
#2 Rohit century lights up Sydney
Once Dhawan and Kohli were dismissed rather cheaply, everything depended on Rohit Sharma. The elegant opener realised the value of his wicket and remained content with playing out Australia's probing new-ball spells.
Rohit was 0 off 16 at one point in the innings. A no-ball and the ensuing free-hit from Behrendorff helped him break the shackles. He was 12 off 35 before another massive six allowed him to breathe easier.
Eventually, he settled into a nice rhythm and took control of the situation. Rohit brought up his fifty off 62 balls. He surged to his century after hammering three boundaries off a Peter Siddle over.
#1 Australia complete 1000th victory across all formats
Coming into this game, Australia had won just three of their last 21 ODIs. Having lost the ODI series against South Africa as well as the Test series against India, they had had a shocking summer. The pressure was mounting on the hosts.
Upon watching Dhoni and Rohit build a partnership, the Australian seamers struck back with a bit of luck. They then kept piling on the pressure by maintaining tight lines.
Even as wickets kept falling at the other end, Rohit began to feel the fatigue. He eventually holed out to Glenn Maxwell after making 133 off 129 balls. The opener's wicket was the final nail in India's coffin.
By virtue of their win at Sydney, Australia became the first team to complete 1000 victories across all three formats of international cricket.