The five-match series saw a record total of 3159 runs scored © Getty Images
The five-match series saw a record total of 3159 runs scored © Getty Images

The five-match One-Day International (ODI) rubber saw the two quality batting units of India and Australia clash on consistently propitious decks. An array of batting records were created. The series witnessed the most number of runs scored in a bilateral ODI series consisting of five games or less with both sides contributing to an overall tally of 3,159 runs! The runs kept oozing and the bowlers looked on helplessly as batting records tumbled. The series also witnessed a record 11 centuries which is comfortably the most for any bilateral ODI series consisting even more than five games. In a series of such nature, it is difficult to pick the 10 best innings in the series. Rishad D’Souza gives it his best shot. Full Cricket Scorecard: India vs Australia 2015-16, 5th ODI at Sydney

1.) Steven Smith 149 at Perth: Having scored 309 for 3 in the first ODI, India had set the tone for the match and the series. Australia had a seemingly daunting chase on hands at the once spicy WACA wicket. But skipper Steven Smith batted in typically unhurried yet busy fashion to make the chase a breeze for his side. His innings was very composed and although he didn’t take too many risks made sure Australia were always at pace with the asking rate. ALSO READ: Steven Smith, George Bailey power Australia to 5-wicket win in 1st ODI vs India at Perth

2.) Manish Pandey 104* at Sydney: The match at the iconic SCG was the last in the series and by this point Australia had consigned India to a humiliating series defeat having emerged victorious in all preceding games. They seemed primed for a whitewash having scored 330 in the first innings. The apparent rustiness of Rohit Sharma (who did eventually score 99) and cheap dismissal of Virat Kohli meant India’s most prolific scorers in the series had not contributed greatly to the cause. Yet, Manish Pandey was unperturbed. The newcomer took stock of the situation and scored freely without looking hesitant at any point. He scored an unbeaten 81-ball 104 to take India to a thrilling victory. ALSO READ: Manish Pandey century masterminds India’s thrilling last-over victory over Australia in 5th ODI at SCG

 3.) Glenn Maxwell 96 at Melbourne: Australia staged a few of comebacks in the matches through the series but none as dramatic as the one Glenn Maxwell inspired at the MCG. In chase of 296 Australia never looked very comfortable with guys like Smith and Bailey failing to make a significant impact. By the time Matthew Wade was dismissed, Australia were 81 runs short of the target still with only four wickets and 71 balls to spare. Maxwell had already started looking dangerous at the other end and decided to take it upon himself to see Australia past the line. He unleashed his variety of unconventional, field-defying shots in blend with some conventional hitting to score a 83-ball 96 which saw Australia get to the target with seven balls and three wickets to spare.

4.) Rohit Sharma 171* at Perth: The ‘hitman’ was at his best through course of the series. Rohit Sharma gave a thorough demonstration of what he was to produce in the series in the very first game at WACA. He scored an undefeated 171 off 163 deliveries to set up what seemed an insurmountable 309 for India. Unfortunately for him, despite the volume of runs scored in the innings, he could not savour it to maximum extent because the Indian bowlers failed to defend the total. ALSO READ: Rohit Sharma becomes 1st Indian batsman to score over 400 runs in away bilateral ODI series

5.) Shikhar Dhawan 126 at Canberra: While fellow-opener Rohit was scoring runs by the ton (literally), Shikhar Dhawan had looked rusty in the first couple of games. He came into his own in the fourth game at Canberra to score a fantastic 113-ball 126 in India’s chase of 349. He and Virat Kohli seemed in the mood to track down the mammoth total and India were well on course for victory or so it seemed. But the dismissals of Dhawan and Kohli triggered one of the most spectacular collapses in recent times. India went from being 277 for 1 to 323 all out falling short of the target by 25 runs. Yet, no credit can be taken away from Dhawan’s innings.

6.) Virat Kohli 106 at Canberra: Kohli’s credentials as a ODI batsmen are beyond point of debate now. He will perhaps finish up as the most prolific run-scorer in the format when he retires and may also boast the most number of hundreds. He added two tons to the cause in the five-match series, the more thrilling of which came at Canberra. In company of Dhawan, he played some fantastic shots and seemed primed to further his reputation as a master of ODI chases. He was dismissed for a 92-ball 106, leaving India comfortably poised to score 349 for the win. However, horror unfolded in front of his eyes as the team lost wickets in a heap and fell 25 runs short in the end.

7.) Aaron Finch 107 at Canberra: Finch was instrumental in setting up a big total for the Australians at Canberra. He scored freely after a string of matches where he looked a tad scratchy and sluggish by his own standards. He was involved in a magnificent opening stand with Warner to put on 187 runs for the first wicket. This knock and partnership allowed Australia to post a truly challenging total.

8.) George Bailey 112 at Perth: While Smith’s knock (see knock 1 on this list) was brilliant by itself, it would have been inadequate to get Australia past the line had it not been for a steady hand at the other end. That is exactly what Bailey produced at Perth. He scored with incredible efficiency and shelved his flamboyant strokes early in the innings to get Australia into better shape and started using them later when the situation demanded. He helped Australia get past the 309 runs scored by India by five wickets. His 112 runs consumed 120 deliveries.

9.) Mitchell Marsh 102* at Sydney: Marsh is a handy all-rounder as he has shown in the many games he has played but had never had the bragging rights of a three-figure score under his belt in the 50-over game. He achieved that mark in the final ODI at Sydney by scoring a fascinating 84-ball 102 remaining undefeated as he guided Australia to a score of 330. Importantly his knock came at a time when his team most needed it. At the time of his arrival Australia were tottering at 117 for 4 but he and Warner pulled Australia out of the hole in stellar fashion. Unfortunately for him, the joy of his maiden ton was short-lived on account of another maiden ton in the same game (see knock 2).

10.) George Bailey 76 at Brisbane: This is the lowest score to make it to this list but well deserved. In chase of 309 at Brisbane, which offered some assistance for the bowlers in comparison with the appalling standards throughout this series, Australia needed one quickfire knock after the openers had generated a healthy, but slowish start. That defining knock came from Bailey as he romped away to a scintillating, unbeaten 58-ball 76 at a strike-rate of 131. He stayed till the end to ensure his team was parried to a victory.

(Rishad D’Souza, a reporter with CricketCountry, gave up hopes of playing Test cricket after a poor gully-cricket career. He now reports on the sport. You can follow @RDcric on Twitter)