George Bailey-led Australia need to win this series 5-2 to knock India off their perch and become the first team to have beaten India more than they’ve been beaten in india in the past five years.
The captain stepping in for Michael Clarke led the way as Australia batted first and scrambled over 300 runs in an up and down innings.
Bailey won man of the match for his lynchpin 85 from 82, coming in after openers Aaron Finch (72 from 79) and Phil Hughes (47 from 53) set a perfect foundation and Shane Watson (2) came and went.
Valuable contributions also came from Glenn Maxwell (31 off 23), along with James Faulkner (27 off 22) and at the end Mitchell Johnson getting the score to 8 for 304 with his 11 from 4 balls.
India would have had to complete the highest Indian run chase against Oz to win and lost early wickets, which saw the run rate creep away from them and eventually the Aussie seamers had them all out for 232.
Faulkner continued his good day out with the ball, finishing with 3-47, although one celebration was a bit excitable and saw keeper Brad Haddin go off injured. SEE WHAT HAPPENED HERE
Mitchell Johnson (1-38) snagged dangerous Yuvraj Singh for just 7 while Clint McKay (2-36) took the other hope, MS Dhoni (19) out of the game by knocking his house down.
At that stage India need 109 runs from nine overs and it was all but over.
Shane Watson (2-31) was also reliable as ever, knocking over Virat Kolhi for 61.
Bailey praised an all-round performance from his side.
“We talked about our plans, and executed it very well,” he said. “Mitchell has been really impressive, he gives us a great lift at the start of the innings. Getting to 300 was important.
“We got an excellent start thanks to Hughes and Finch. Almost everyone chipped in later. Our plan was to get 300, and we managed to get there. It is always important to start well in a long series.”
India captain Dhoni said his bowlers simply left them with too much to chase.
“We had some good partnerships, but failed to convert it into bigger stands,” he said. “I was a bit disappointed with some of the shot selections.
“There was some help for the bowlers, but we gave away too many runs.”
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Faulkner struck the early blow when he had Shikhar Dhawan (7) caught behind – but the aggressive allrounder celebrated a bit too vigorously and accidentally poked wicketkeeper Brad Haddin in the eye.
The Australian vice-captain had to leave the field and was off for 22 overs as he