Australia's Smith channels Barry Bonds in quickfire ton


Cricket - First One Day International - Australia v India - Sidney Cricket Ground, Sidney, Australia - November 27, 2020 Australia's Aaron Finch celebrates his century REUTERS/Loren Elliott

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Steve Smith's 63-ball century in Australia's victory over India in the first one day international against India on Saturday ranked among the very best in 50-overs cricket, according to Australia skipper Aaron Finch.

Finch scored 114 but was happy to concede that there had been something special in the innings produced by Smith, who, he revealed, compared his best hitting to Major League Baseball's greatest home run slugger.

"He calls himself Barry Bonds when he gets into those sorts of moods," Finch said of Smith.

"He struck it beautifully, the way that he moved, the intent that he showed was second to none, that's as good a one-day innings as you'll see."

Almost 18,000 fans were on hand to watch the runfest at the Sydney Cricket Ground, which launched India's long-awaited tour Down Under.

While Finch was happy with Australia's tally of 374, he described the performance as "patchy" and was less impressed with a series of dropped catches and misfields that allowed India to stay in the match.

"You've got to take them," he said, brushing away a suggestion that the players were rusty in their first home international since March.

"Half the guys have been playing (Sheffield) Shield and the other half have been playing IPL and training hard during quarantine.

"If we take them chances we probably could have put the game beyond doubt a bit earlier."

The most costly miss could have been when Adam Zampa dropped a relatively simply chance to remove Virat Kohli for one run, although in the end the India captain only added 20 more runs to his tally before Finch caught him out off a Josh Hazlewood ball.

Zampa redeemed himself with four for 54 to end any hopes of an Indian victory, proving to Finch that he was his country's top spinner in white ball cricket.

"Getting good players out under pressure is what it's all about and he certainly did that," Finch said.

The second of the three one-dayers is at the same ground on Sunday, but the hosts could be without Marcus Stoinis for the match after the all-rounder left the SCG during Friday's match with an injury he picked up while bowling.

Cricket Australia said Stoinis has suffered left side pain and will undergo scans to determine the extent of the injury.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Additional reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by Peter Rutherford and William Mallard)

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