Rohit Sharma’s century helped India set 268 for victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground but went in vain as Australia went cruising at 216 for two in the 40th over.
Electing to bat, India made 267 for eight wherein Rohit Sharma hit nine fours and four sixes in his 139-ball knock to score his third century against Australia. He put on 126 runs for the fourth wicket with Suresh Raina.
Raina, who was the only Indian batsman to pass 20 made 51.
India had a horrendous start as they were reduced to 59 for three in 12.5 overs. Opener ShikharDhawan (2) was removed in the first over of the innings itself, caught at second slip off Starc.
AjinkyaRahane (12) had been listed to bat a number four in the team-sheets but he came out at the fall of the first wicket. He put on 30 runs for the 2nd wicket with Rohit.
As soon as they started feeling comfortable, debutant Gurinder Sandhu (1-58) got Rahane to attempt a high cut and instead was caught behind by keeper Brad Haddin. That brought ViratKohli to the crease.
Dhoni and Rohit brought up the 200-mark in the 40th over, but then Starc returned to the attack to remove the Indian captain and Patel with a double-blow in the 44th over.
R Ashwin (14*) arrived in the middle to help add 25 runs for the 7th wicket as the 250-mark came up in the 47th over. He was dropped by pat Cummins (0-52).
The hat-trick was avoided by Mohammad Shami (2*) as the last ten overs yielded just 61 runs for the loss of four wickets.
After opener Aaron Finch’s confident 96-run knock, Australia were placed comfortably at 216 for two in a chase of 268 but India staged a late comeback by taking three quick wickets.
However, Australia lost four wickets for 32 runs including Finch for 96 and Smith for 47.
Australia’s chase was on track till the 40th over with the loss of Smith.