Rohit's heroics trumped by Smith, Australia win easy

Sports Tuesday 12/January/2016 16:18 PM
By: Times News Service
Rohit's heroics trumped by Smith, Australia win easy

Perth: Rohit Sharma's scintillating unbeaten 171 went in vain as Australia rode on skipper Steve Smith's fluent 149 to script a comfortable five-wicket victory in a high-scoring first cricket one-dayer here on Tuesday.
On one of the flattest WACA tracks in recent times, India scored a commanding 309 for three courtesy Rohit's brilliant strokeplay but the target seemed insufficient against the hosts, who relied on centuries by Smith and George Bailey (112) to overhaul the target in 49.2 overs.
Rohit's 163-ball knock was the best by an Indian today while vice-captain Virat Kohli also impressed with a 91-run effort as the duo added 207 runs for the second wicket.
But India's poor bowling allowed the Australians to clinch a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. Smith, who faced 163 balls, added a staggering 242 runs for the third wicket with another former captain Bailey as the home team knocked off the runs with ease.
While it was another heartbreaking end to a Rohit century that ended in a losing cause (his T20 hundred and ODI hundred against SA were scored in defeats), Australian skipper Smith again turned out to be India's nemesis pacing his innings to perfection.
Smith's sequence of scores against the 'Men In Blue' across formats reads: 162 not out, 52 not out, 133, 28, 192, 14, 117, 71, 47, 105.
It also turned out to be the highest successful run-chase at the WACA and the third highest in an ODI in Australia.
The Indian bowling attack looked completely out of depth as the Smith-Bailey duo never did anything extraordinary but still managed to hammer Umesh Yadav and co with monotonic regularity.
For India, debutant Barinder Sran (3/56) managed to create an impression with early breakthroughs but the other bowlers failed to join the party.
Especially disappointing were India's spin twins Ravichandran Ashwin (2/68 in 9 overs) and Ravindra Jadeja (0/61 in 9 overs) looked far from penetrative.
They could hardly extract any turn and were played with consummate ease by the Aussie captain, whose footwork was exemplary.
The two teams will now travel to Brisbane for the second ODI on Friday.