Warner, Finch ton up as Aussies crush India in Mumbai
This was more than a victory. Australia's first real challenge of a lacklustre summer morphed into a cakewalk in Tuesday night's first ODI in Mumbai.
The bowlers shared the load and openers David Warner and Aaron Finch did the rest. They stormed past India's target of 256 without losing a single wicket.
They did it with 74 balls to spare. Warner (128 not-out off 112) and Finch (110 not-out off 114) made a mockery of India's world-class bowling line-up.
Jasprit Bumrah (0-50) lost his length. Perhaps it was a poor sign for India that Virat Kohli played Bumrah with relative ease in the nets on Monday.
It was the best opening stand against India of all time. It was the biggest partnership against India anywhere in the world.
It was just the third time India has lost a home ODI by 10 wickets, and the first since South Africa strolled to its target of 188 back in 2005.
And it was simply unbelievable.
Aaron Finch's century made his $900,000 price tag in the IPL auction look like a bargain for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Australia is just one victory away from claiming back-to-back ODI series wins in India, a feat that hasn't been achieved by any country since Australia won its fourth on the bounce in 2009.
Debutant Marnus Labuschagne - accidentally called 'Marcus' by Steve Waugh in his pre-game cap presentation - will have to wait for Friday's game in Rajkot for a bat.
Remarkably, not even Steve Smith got a go.
Warner and Finch pierced the field as if it were a computer game, and the scoreboard reflected something out of this world.
It was the kind of result that should make Sri Lanka, Pakistan and New Zealand feel a little bit better. Those three countries have come to Australia this summer and been mercilessly beaten up in both the shortest format (Sri Lanka and Pakistan) and the longest format (Pakistan and New Zealand).
Australia cruised through a Test summer winning every match inside four days for the first time in history.
Well, now world cricket's heavyweight knows what it feels like.
This was supposed to be the first real challenge of the summer and what transpired was challenging to comprehend for the packed Mumbai crowd. As Warner and Finch cut, pulled and hoicked at ease the crowd - so boisterous in the first innings - sat in a stunned silence.
Twice they celebrated Warner's dismissal, only for DRS reviews to reveal two poor on-field umpiring decisions.
Twice Finch raised the bat for his half-century. The first came after Finch tonked a six that also brought up Australia's 100, when the scoreboard mistakenly showed him on 50, when really he was on 49.
Then, 13 minutes later, Finch actually reached the milestone, however it wasn't to be his last one.
Warner pulled out his trademark leap for ODI century No.18 while Finch hugged Warner when he brought up century No.16. It was a gracious response from the cricket-loving crowd, who clapped their hands red for both players when plenty in England chose to boo Warner this year.
The supreme batting only further highlighted the all-round brilliance of Australia's bowlers, with India at least 50 runs under par on what Kohli called India's best batting track.
Mitchell Starc's middle overs were bang-on, and when the left-armer gets it right he is lethal in this format.
Starc made his ODI debut in India back in 2010 and Tuesday night was just his second game there. It reaped three wickets, starting with crucial anchor Rohit Sharma, and reinforced why coach Justin Langer rates the World Cup warrior the game's best white-ball cricketer.
Kolkata Knight Riders coach Brendon McCullum would've been thrilled with Cummins (2-44) after purchasing the golden boy for $3.2 million in last month's auction.
Cummins removed dangerous opener Shikhar Dhawan when a leading edge flew straight to Ashton Agar and then, after an eight-second delay, umpire Chettithody Shamshuddin deemed Rishabh Pant had been caught off Cummins.
Cummins was the pick of the bunch, his length a model for accuracy.
Adam Zampa copped some stick but stuck at it and rolled Virat Kohli for the fourth time in 12 months while Ashton Agar broke the 121-run partnership, which was the only time India looked in control.
That is four-straight ODI wins in India against India. With three white-ball World Cups in the next four years - and two in India - that's a mighty start to a new cycle for Finch's boys.