Steve Smith stepped up again as hosts Australia handed India a 51-run drubbing in the second ODI of the three-match series at Sydney. Batting firsts, Australia's run-flow was boosted by Smith's quick-fire 64-ball 104. He also only the fourth batsman to score three consecutive centuries against India.
Smith's batting masterclass made the difference as Australia went on to post a mammoth 389-run total on the scoreboard. Before Smith, David Warner and Aaron Finch laid the foundation by stitching a century opening stand.
Australia were also bolstered by Glenn Maxwell's carnage and Marnus Labuschagne's sensible knock. In response, visitors India succumbed to the required run-rate yet again as they managed to post just 338 on the board. Skipper Virat Kohli (89) and KL Rahul (76) were the top-scorers for the Men in Blue. They, however, failed to steer India past the winning line.
Smith, who smashed 14 fours and 2 sixes in his match-defining knock, said that he has started to hit the ball with a bit more finesse, contrary to his batting exploits in the recently-concluded IPL in the UAE. He also heaped praise on Australia's fielding show and bowling effort to pocket the series.
"I felt good from ball one. Got myself in and went hard. It was another great foundation set by Finchy and Davey. That enabled myself and Maxi to go hard at the back end. It's just summing up conditions and what's in front you. Against India, you need to score big totals. It was just about taking the game on," said Smith, Player of the Match, in the post-match presentation.
"Fortunately, it's come off in the last couple of games. I tried to whack the ball a bit too hard in the IPL, now I have started to hit the ball with a bit more finesse which is probably working better for me. I'm just playing nice cricketing shots. It (records) doesn't bother me, nice to score some runs again for the team and get us to a good total. The boys were outstanding in the field as well. The guys bowled really well and yeah, nice performance," he further said