David Warner has thrown away a golden chance to register his 19th ODI century but the fashion in which the opener dealt with India’s attack and Sydney’s sapping heat will cause some concern for Virat Kohli.
Warner had few apprehensive moments at the SCG on Sunday before creating his own downfall on 83, when he hustled back for a second run but was caught short by Shreyas Iyer’s direct hit.
Warner’s only other half-chance, on 54, was the result of a mix-up between the wickets but he was saved by trademark pace and a desperate dive.
The tourists’ bowlers, asked to toil in 40C after the coin fell Aaron Finch’s way for the second game in a row, were ineffectual and failed to create early pressure.
It was a similar story to Friday’s procession, when Australia marched to a total of 6-374.
Australia’s batsmen, knowing India’s bowlers will go a long way to deciding the winner of these limited-overs games but also the ensuing four-Test series, attacked both games with a clear plan.
There was largely a risk-averse approach to star pacemen Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami but otherwise it was open slather.
Navdeep Saini, hammered for 1-83 on Friday, started Sunday’s spell with an attempted bouncer that instead landed on a perfect length for Warner to effortlessly hoick it over the leg-side fence.
Warner and Finch successfully hit Saini out of the attack after a two-over spell that cost 21 runs.
Tweaker Yuzvendra Chahal was also targeted by Warner and Finch, who each clattered well-flighted deliveries for six early in the innings.
Warner’s running between the wickets ultimately led to his dismissal but it was also crucial in Australia’s 142-run opening stand, with the 34-year-old repeatedly putting fielders under pressure.
Warner and Finch’s 12th partnership of 100-plus runs was ultimately snapped by Shami.
Kohli, who held the catch to dismiss Finch, will doubtless be relieved he has strike weapons Shami and Bumrah to call on both now and in the first Test at Adelaide Oval.
But the visitors’ pace depth, which Shami talked up last week, will be tested in the four Tests.
Saini loomed as a likely Test debutant in the pink-ball clash but he will need to offer more control than what was exhibited on Friday and Sunday.
Injured veteran Ishant Sharma, who would have been the ideal workhorse to complement Shami and Bumrah throughout the Test series, has recently been ruled out of the tour.