India have roughly 36 hours to to regroup and get ready for England, whom they play on Tuesday in Brisbane. That is when we will be back too. Until then, ciao.
Bailey: Would have been nice if we haven't messed it up at the end. Thought we dragged it back well with the ball. India was looking like getting 300 at one point. I felt like we snuck a few overs where I though India would come a little harder at us. Wickets at the end are so important and Starc-y had a great match.
Finchy has been really consistent for us, especially in Australia. Tonight was really pleasing because he found it hard between 20 and 60 but he kept going and won the match for us.
Mitchell Starc is hte man of the match.
Starc: Ball is coming out well and Australia is winning games. Can't complain. Took key wickets at key moments and that kept them [India] below 300. We got our execution right at the death.
Dhoni: What was crucial was the start with the new ball. We gave away too much width to the batsman. Close to the 35th over, we started to bowl well. Once we got reverse-swing, we started to put pressure on the opposition. Told the boys not to worry about the result. Let's concentrate on execution because that will stand us in good stead after this.
On the higher send of 270 is what we should be able to defend because there will be bounce and there will be reverse swing.
Chase of 268 at MCG ends with 6 balls to spare and Faulkner at the crease, precisely the same as what happened v SA in November #ausvind
Despite the seemingly close finish, India were outplayed for most of the game. It was a thoroughly deserved victory for Australia, who have won two out of two.
Over 49: Australia 269/6 (Haddin 13, Faulkner 9)
Bhuvi to bowl the rucial 49th over. Faulkner clubs him ruthlessly to square leg boundary. Off one knee no less. Dhawan has a glorious opportunity to run out Haddin from cover but misses when the batsman had given up making his ground. Dhoni hadn't run up to the stumps either.
Haddin then clubs an attempted yorker from Bhuvi over extra-cover for another boundary. After a single, Bhuvi strays down legside again and Faulkner just has to help it on its way to beat short fine leg.
After bowling five dot balls as a replacement for Shami, Bhuvi gave away 16 runs in his final over.
AUSTRALIA BEAT INDIA BY FOUR RUNS WITH SIX BALLS TO SPARE.
Over 48: Australia 253/6 (Haddin 7, Faulkner 0)
Haddin makes room to drive Akshar through the covers. Rohit does exceptionally well on the boundary by diving and scooping the ball back to save one run.
Couple of loud shouts for LBW against Faulkner but Dharmasena turns both down.
Australia need 15 from 12 now.
Akshar to finish off. Haddin on strike.
Over 47: Australia 248/6 (Haddin 3, Faulkner)
A wicket-maiden from Shami/Bhuvi. A little bit of pressure on Australia now but Faulkner is one of the best finishers in the game.
Over 46.3: Australia 248/6 (Haddin 3)
OUT! Bhuvi has struck with the slower ball. Maxwell makes room. Bhuvi follows him with the slower one and Maxwell can only chip the ball back to him.
GJ Maxwell c & b Kumar 20 (23b 1x4 1x6)
20 needed from 21 now.
Shami was wearing a knee brace but this injury didn't appear to have anything to do with his knee. India now a bowler short in the death. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will finish the over.
Shami has called for the physio. He was clutching his right hamstring. And now Shami is going off having bowled just one ball of the 47th over. This is not good for India in the short term or the long term.
Over 46: Australia 248/5 (Maxwell 20, Haddin 3)
Cagey duel between Akshar and Maxwell, who were team-mates at Kings XI Punjab in last season's IPL. Maxwell decides to go inside-out but doesn't time it. The ball just carries out of a pursuing Rohit Sharma's reach. Six from the over.
Twenty now needed from four overs.
Over 45: Australia 242/5 (Maxwell 15, Haddin 2)
Umesh keeps the pressue on with a hostile final over. Maxwell also loses a toe and his middle stump when Umesh sents a heat-seaking yorker at him. Maxwell somehow gets hits bat down in time, almost falling over in the process.
Umesh finishes with 2 for 55 from his 10.
Finally a boundary for Glenn Maxwell in his last five ODI innings after facing 29 balls!
Maxwell doesn't care that Australia have lost quick wickets. He charges Ashwin and flat-bats him - bang - over the long-on boundary. He attempts to repear the feat but doesn't get hold of the ball and has to settle for four. 10 from the last two balls.
Over 43.2: Australia 230/5 (Maxwell 5)
OUT! Brilliant from Dhoni. Bailey misses the ball down legside. His momentum forces him take a step out of his crease. Dhoni is Waiting for that and whips the bails off.
GJ Bailey st †Dhoni b Ashwin 5 (11b 0x4 0x6)
Replays show Bailey got a nick on that so he was out caught before he was stumped.
Over 43: Australia 229/4 (Maxwell 4, Bailey 5)
Umesh continues to tease. There is the now mandatory wide down legside. But there was also probing line and length to Bailey. Umesh would do well to pitch it up further on this pitch though. He is looking for bounce but bounce from a good length would be much more threatening than bounce from short of a length.
Over 42: Australia 226/4 (Maxwell 3, Bailey 4)
Ashwin comes back. You'd expect fireworks with Maxwell at the crease but all he manages is a single from three deliveries. Bailey manages two singles from the other three balls.
Over 41: Australia 223/4 (Maxwell 2, Bailey 2)
Maxwell gets into an awful tangle trying to evade a bouncer from Umesh. He ducks and twists his body out of the way but leaves his bat pointing straight up like a sentinal. The ball smacks into it and loops over gully.
Of course Umesh wouldn't be Umesh if he didn't get carried away and spear a short delivery wide down legside.
Sometimes it appears that all Umesh wants to do is bowl short and quick without any idea of what will accomplish. It is like a golfer trying to smash his drive as hard and far as possible without a target in mind.
Australia need 45 runs from 54 balls with six wickets in hand at this stage.
Over 40.1: Australia 219/4 (Maxwell 1)
OUT! No hundred for Finch on his home ground. Short and a touch wide from Umesh. Finch went for the forcing shot of the backfoot but the ball got big on him and he edges it straight to Dhoni.
AJ Finch c †Dhoni b Yadav 96 (127b 5x4 2x6)
Over 39.4: Australia 215/3 (Finch 95)
OUT! What a strange dismissal. Shami bowls a bouncer outside off. Smith attemtps a tennis-overhead type shot but bats the ball straight to short midwicket. No idea what he might have been trying there. He could have easily left that ball alone.
SPD Smith c Ashwin b Mohammed Shami 47 (52b 6x4 0x6)
It was the slower bouncer from Shami and that messed up Smith's timing.
Over 39: Australia 215/2 (Finch 94, Smith 47)
Steven Smith is a run-making machine. Akshar is marginally wide but Smith is still able to open the face and drive the ball past point. Smith must be seeing the cricket ball like a football. Seven from the over.
Over 38: Australia 208/2 (Finch 92, Smith 42)
Smith get his 1000th ODI run when he opens the face and and beats point for a single. Only two runs from the over but that won't worry Australia.
Over 37: Australia 206/2 (Finch 91, Smith 41)
Australia need less than 5 runs an over to win this game from here so they don't need to take any risks. Six runs come from Akshar's over courtesy five singles and a wide. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
Akshar Patel is back.
Over 36: Australia 200/2 (Finch 89, Smith 38)
Shami comes back. Starts with the obligatory short and wide deliver, which Finch loops over point for a couple of runs. Smith then brings up Australia's 200 by chopping a full delivery to third man.
Australia has taken the batting Power Play.
Over 35: Australia 196/2 (Finch 86, Smith 37)
Umesh gets away with a legstump half volley this time as Finch fails to make proper contact. Umesh concedes just five runs from the over as a result. Manjrekar is still irate at Umesh's lack of discipline.
Over 34: Australia 191/2 (Finch 84, Smith 34)
Raina gets a second over. Bowls another wide down legside. Then Finch gets down on one knee and muscles the ball down the ground for another SIX! Smith also cashes in by making room and cutting Raina elegantly past point.
Raina's two overs have cost 24 runs.
Over 33: Australia 177/2 (Finch 76, Smith 29)
Dhoni has no choice but to give the ball to Umesh. Starts off well but then spears one full down legside. Smith rolls his wrists and helps the ball to fine leg. "There is the Umesh Yadav special," says Manjrekar on commentary. Seven from the over.
Over 32: Australia 170/2 (Finch 73, Smith 25)
Dhoni turns to Raina to provide relief from his seamers. He does not get it. The first ball is wide down legside. Finch then smashes the first legal ball is smashed over long-on. Ten runs come from the over.
Over 31: Australia 160/2 (Finch 64, Smith 25)
DROPPED! Dhoni was up to the stumps with Bhuvi bowling. The ball gets big on Finch who gets a thin tip edge. The ball kisses the top of Dhoni's gloves and ricochets away for two runs.
Over 30: Australia 155/2 (Finch 60, Smith 24)
Smith takes on Ashwin and lands two punches. The first was a delicate late cut to a flatter, quicker delivery that took the ball past short third man. the second was all talent - used his feet to go back and his hands to direct the ball past point.
Over 29: Australia 145/2 (Finch 59, Smith 15)
Bhuvi returns. He is worked around for easy singles. Six runs come from the over.
Over 28: Australia 139/2 (Finch 57, Smith 12)
Ashwin charges through his sixth over. Five runs come from it. These are the dreaded middle overs that critics grumble about. Wickets don't look like falling but the runs aren't gushing either.
Over 27: Australia 134/2 (Finch 54, Smith 11)
Shami goes searching for the yorker but finds the middle of Smith's bat instead. It wasn't a bad ball but Smith timed it perfectly and the ball zoomed back past the bowler. That was harsh on Shami.
Seven come from the over. Shami and Umesh unable to give Dhoni the control he wants and needs.
Over 26: Australia 127/2 (Finch 54, Smith 4)
Ashwin shows Shami how it's done by pounding that middle and legstump line that Dhoni appreciates. Three singles are all Smith and Finch can manage combined.
Over 25: Australia 124/2 (Finch 53, Smith 2)
Dhoni promptly takes off Akshar after he got that wicket and brings Shami back. The spinners have done well to slow the flow of runs.
Shami manages to avoid the boundary ball but still concedes six from the over as he bowls a touch too straight and allows Finch to work him off his pads for a couple of twos.
The first of those twos brought up Finch's 50. Took him 80 balls. Unusually slow by his standards.
Over 24: Australia 118/2 (Finch 48, Smith 1)
Ashwin continues from around the wicket. This line probably isn't going to get him many wickets but he doesn't concede many runs either. Three of them this time.
Anyone else surprised to see Watson out in the nervous 40's?
OUT! Watson falls for the trap. Tries to slog-sweep Akshar through the vacant midwicket region but misjudges the length. The ball crashes into offstump.
SR Watson b Patel 41 (39b 5x4 1x6)
Watson is furious with himself as he walks off.
Over 21: Australia 105/1 (Finch 38, Watson 39)
Dhoni has a mid-off and a long-off for Akshar and no midwicket. He wants the batsmen to try playing across the line. Instead, Watson tries to cut a quicker delivery outside off and is beaten.
Over 20: Australia 102/1 (Finch 35, Watson 39)
Dhoni has Ashwin going around the wicket and attacking middle and legstump. Wasim Akram is aghast. He wants Ashwin to be attacking offstump. "I have been saying this for two or three years but for some reason no one is listening," Akram says,
Meanwhile Ashwin concedes two runs from his second over after giving away 10 in his first.
Over 19: Australia 100/1 (Finch 34, Watson 38)
Akshar has slowly found his line and length and gives away just two singles. The second one brings up Australia's 100 though. Batting is looking rather easy on this pitch.
Over 18: Australia 98/1 (Finch 33, Watson 37)
No turn for Ashwin and Watson takes advantage by advancing down the pitch and hitting the ball straight over Ashwin, the umpire and the boundary rope. Top shot. Struck it as clean as can be. Flew dead straight too
Ashwin gets his first bowl of the match.
Over 17: Australia 88/1 (Finch 32, Watson 28)
Another big shout for LBW from Akshar as he strikes Finch on the back pad but this one was possibly missing legstump. Just three from the over.
Over 16: Australia 85/1 (Finch 31, Watson 26)
Umesh continues to serve up shot and wide nonsense. Gets lucky the first time when the bounce takes the ball over Watson's bat. Not so lucky the second time, as Watson beats point with power.
All set to defend their cricket World Cup crown in less than a month, India will get their preparations underway with the aim of finding the right combination for the marquee event when they take on Australia in their opening match of the ongoing ODI tri-series here tomorrow.
While this tri-series provides the perfect setting for experimentation, the need of the hour is to get a settled combination going ahead to instill confidence in the side.
In the recently-concluded Test series, these same set of players did compete well despite a 0-2 score-line saying otherwise. However, the change in format cannot be negated and there will always be a few cobwebs to be cleared.
Rohit Sharma. AFP
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will return to international cricket after a little over two weeks since his Test retirement at the same venue, and he will have some decisions to make.
The first order of business will be to make a choice about the opening combination. With less than a month to go before their opening World Cup encounter against Pakistan in Adelaide, it is worrisome that India's openers are yet unknown.
Ahead of Sunday's game, the team management has failed to specify whether it will be Ajinkya Rahane or Rohit Sharma pairing up with Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order, or
indeed whether a third combination might be thrown up.
The choice of openers will have an effect on the rest of the batting order as well. If Rahane opens with Dhawan, where will Rohit fit in? Indeed, if Rohit opens the innings, will Rahane return to number four, a position he has not been comfortable with.
Or, will Virat Kohli be moved down a spot from his favoured number three, a move he experimented with while leading the side at home against Sri Lanka?
Unlike the team's preparations ahead of any Test match, their net-sessions for an ODI do not throw up any suggestive patterns and it was the same on Saturday as well. In no particular order then, all batsmen enjoyed a decent hit in the nets including Ambati Rayudu and Stuart Binny.
Both of them will be hoping to play a definitive role during this tournament and increase their chances for the World Cup.
Among the bowlers, playing two spinners is definitely par for the course for India, with R Ashwin and Axar Patel slated to take up those spots. Ravindra Jadeja is still some distance away from full fitness.
Meanwhile, Ishant Sharma too has been ruled out of this match with the management not willing to risk him at this stage in light of his left-knee niggle. It remains to be seen whether Bhuvneshwar Kumar will make the cut given his not-so-impressive showing in the Sydney Test.