Australia captain Aaron Finch says Steve Smith’s century in his side’s 66-run victory over India in the first One Day International at the SCG was “as good a one-day innings as you’ll see”.
Smith confirmed that he’s “found his hands” with a barnstorming hundred, the third fastest in Australia’s ODI history, coming from 62 balls, before eventually departing on 105 from 66 balls.
The former captain was named Player of the Match, having crunched four sixes and 11 boundaries, while the current skipper Finch got a century of his own, as Australia amassed 6-374 after winning the toss and electing to bat.
Finch set it up with his 114 from 124 balls alongside David Warner who made 69 from 76, with Australia in control at 2-264 at the end of the 40th over when Finch lost his wicket.
“He calls himself Barry Bonds when he gets into those moods,” Finch said about Smith, who had some inconsistent form in the 2020 Indian Premier League recently.
“He struck them beautifully. The way that he moved. His intent was second to none. That’s as good a one-day innings as you’ll see.”
“It was just a little bit of extra time,” Finch said when asked what was the difference on Friday after his ordinary IPL run.
“When you’re searching for runs and you’re trying to take them on in T20 cricket, it can be tough. You just need a little bit of luck every now and then.
“I had some great players around me who took the pressure off me. They were superb, Smithy and Davey.”
Glenn Maxwell crunched 45 from 19 balls in a handy cameo to take Australia beyond 350, while Mohammed Shami was India’s best with the ball, taking 3-59.
The tourists looked beaten at 4-101 in reply when IPL top scorer KL Rahul fell, following Virat Kohli (21) back to the sheds, but Shikhar Dhawan (74) and Hardik Pandya (90) gave them hope with a 128-run stand.
But Adam Zampa sorted out the danger with four wickets to finish with 4-54 after Josh Hazlewood had run through the top order with 3-55.
Despite that, Finch wasn’t fully happy with his side, particularly a few dropped catches.
“Patchy in the field and with the ball,” Finch said. “With the bat it was nice to get some big partnerships and go on to that next phase of batting at 370 was really important.
“For both teams a few catches went down. It’s one of those things. maybe a little lapse in concentration. You’ve got to take them.”
The two sides will meet again at the same venue on Sunday, although Australia will likely be forced into one change with Marcus Stoinis injuring his left side. Youngster Cam Green could come in to debut.