During the first ODI of the five-match ODI series, two Australian top-order batsmen Steven Smith and George Bailey reminded 2003 final once again to the Indian bowlers.
India put a fine total of 309 runs on the scoreboard in the first ODI at Perth on Tuesday, after winning the toss. Rohit Sharma made an impressive 171 runs and also put a long partnership of 207 runs along with Virat Kohli. But his outstanding knock went in vain due to the Smith and Bailey’s tremendous match-winning partnership of 242 runs. During the mammoth 242 runs partnership, the Indian bowlers looked like toothless tigers on the pitch.
The partnership reminded the day of the heart-breaking 2003 final match for Indian fans, where another two classic top-order Australian batsmen had hammered Indian bowlers. The two batsmen were skipper Ricky Ponting and Damien Martyn, who had made unbeaten 234 runs partnership in that final match at Johannesburg. The Indian bowlers were totally clueless during the match as Australia had put a mammoth 359 runs for the loss of only 2 wickets. Ponting had scored 140* and Martyn had scored 88* in that innings.
Before that final match, Indian bowlers had performed extremely well in the world cup 2003 but had totally failed in the final match. The 234-runs partnership was the highest partnership between India and Australia in ODI encounters, which was broken by Smith and Bailey’s partnership on Tuesday.
India had lost that final match by 125 runs after managing just 234 runs on the board.
But the Perth match was slightly different, where the home team was under pressure before that mammoth partnership. Chasing 310 runs, Australia lost their two openers with just 21 runs on the board. It was looking very tough for the Australian batsmen to reach that big total of 310 runs. But Smith and Bailey made the target quite easy. Indian bowlers hardly put the two batsmen into trouble. Once they were set, the target never looked tough. Australia reached that total comfortably as they won by 5 wickets with 4 balls to spare.
Smith scored 149 runs and Bailey made 112 runs in the 1st ODI. This 242 runs partnership is now currently the best partnership for any wickets between the match of India and Australia in ODI history.