Michael Clarke returned to form with an unbeaten 111
Silencing his critics, stand-in-captain skipper Michael Clarke returned to form with his fifth century to help Australia post a challenging 289 for three against India in the second ODI against Australia at the floodlit Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ADA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.
However, Virat Kohli (118) and Suresh Raina (71 not out) led India to a convincing five-wicket victory.
Clarke, who scored just 35 runs from four innings in the two-Test series, essayed the role of a sheet anchor to perfection.
The Australian captain developed some cramps in between but the Aussie skipper overcame the pain after getting some treatment and stood tall during his innings.
Clarke's unbeaten 111 came off 139 balls and was inclusive of seven hits to the fence and one over it.
Image: Michael Clarke
Hussey made an useful contribution
Michael Hussey also chipped in with a 77-ball 69.
The experienced left-hander, along with his captain, steadied the ship putting on 144 runs together for the third wicket.
Clarke and Hussey -- the experienced duo of the new-look Australia side -- did the repair work, building their innings brick by brick. Batting sensibly, they first ensured that there was no more damage, giving the later batsmern some kind of foundation.
Rookie off-spinner Ashwin gave the crucial break when Hussey missed his short-length ball to be hit in front of middle for a leg-before-wicket.
Hussey hit seven fours in his knock.
Image: Michael Hussey
Marsh failed to open his account
Put into bat, Australia were clearly under pressure as the opening duo of Shaun Marsh (0) and Tim Paine (9) were dismissed early by Nehra in an impressive first spell.
However, skipper Clarke and Hussey -- the experienced duo of the new-look Australia side -- did the repair work, building their innings brick by brick.
Batting sensibly, they first ensured that there was no more damage, giving the later batsmern some kind of foundation.
With Indian third and fourth bowlers -- R Vinay Kumar and Ravichandran Ashwin both playing in their second ODI -- a little short on experience, Dhoni had to resort to parttime spinning duo of Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh.
The duo bowled 13 overs in between them with Yuvraj chipping in with a full quota but without any damage to the Aussies.
Image: Shaun Marsh
Nehra struck twice in quick succession
Earlier, Nehra tested Marsh's patience with some toe-crushing line before the southpaw inside-edged one to his stumps to depart without scoring.
Run-rate hovering around two, Paine tried to break-free at the other end with some edgy strokes but Nehra had his way in dismissing the wicket-keeper batsman to leave the Aussies reeling at 16 for two in two overs.
Having already taken a risk, the wicketkeeper batsman came out to hit Nehra over mid-on but only to be gobbled up by Vinay Kumar inside the circle to give India a perfect start.
Image: Ashish Nehra
White made a whirlwind 89 not out
Some big hitting by vice-captain Cameron White (89 from 49 balls with six fours and as many maximums) -- with a couple of them straight ones through umpire Billy Bowden -- spurred the Aussie scoring as they scored 49 runs in the five overs of batting powerplay between 43rd and 47th overs.
Both White and Clarke were in a rampaging mood, Nehra, who had an impressive first spell of 4-1-3-2 had his figures destroyed towards the end as he returned with 57 runs from his 10 overs.
The Aussie scored 114 in the last 10 overs, something that speaks highly of Clarke's innings that had the shades of recovery and then the dominance.
Image: Cameron White
Kohli made a magnificent hundred
Virat Kohli, who was batting with a runner after suffering from cramps, excelled in tough conditions as he made 118 from 121 balls before he was caught at long-on off debutant John Hastings.
Kohli's knock was inclusive of 11 hits to the fence and one over it.
Yuvraj Singh looked good for a big knock before he was deceived by the slower delivery from Clint McKay to be bowled after a brisk 58, inclusive of five boundaries in 87 balls.
The left-hander brought India back after a couple of early wickets with a 137-run partnership in 152 balls for the third wicket with Kohli.
Kohli was involved in yet another crucial partnership for the fourth wicket - 84 runs with Suresh Raina.
And it was a stand that took the home team close to what at one point seemed an improbable win.
Image: Virat Kohli
Raina saw India home
Suresh Raina scored a fast-paced 71 and ensured India home.
The left-hander's knock came off just 47 balls and was inclusive of nine hits to the fence and one over it.
Raina was involved in an 84-run fourth-wicket stand with Virat Kohli and also put on an unbeaten 35-run stand with debutant Saurabh Tiwary (12 not out), a stand that ensured the formalities were completed with seven balls to spare.
Raina once again proved why he is considered such a key one day player with a well-paced innings.
The first ODI of the three-match series was abandoned because of heavy rains in Kochi.
Margao will host the last and third ODI of the series on October 24.
Image: Suresh Raina