Melbourne: A brilliant Rohit Sharma century enabled India to recover from a shaky start and post a competitive total in the one-day international against Australia in Melbourne on Sunday.
Beaten by the host nation 2-0 in the recent four-Test series, India looked in trouble at 59 for three on a placid wicket at the MCG, but the opener led the recovery as they made 267 for eight from their 50 overs.
Such a total looked unlikely early, with the Australians again making early breakthroughs, but Sharma´s 138 led the fightback.
As was the case in their big win over England in the series opener on Friday, left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc claimed a wicket in the first over of the match on his way to figures of 6 for 43.
Starc had Shikhar Dhawan caught at second slip by Aaron Finch for just two.
Fellow paceman Gurinder Sandhu, born in Australia to Indian parents, then made a dream debut when he claimed the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane in just his second over.
Virat Kohli was unable to maintain his incredible form from the Test series, making just nine before he was caught from the bowling of James Faulkner.
Suresh Raina, who made a pair when recalled for the fourth Test against Australia earlier this month, then joined Sharma and they rebuilt the innings.
Once again, the tension between the sides briefly boiled over, when Australian opener David Warner and Sharma exchanged words after the Indians ran an overthrow in the 23rd over.
The Indian batsmen were not distracted and the pair put on 126 before Raina (51) holed out to mid-on to give Starc his second scalp.
Sharma continued to lead the way, gliding Starc to third-man for a single a few minutes later for his sixth one-day international century, from 109 balls.
He eventually fell late in the innings to Starc for 138, having faced 139 balls, hitting nine fours and four sixes. (AFP)