Cricket-Australia’s Smith channels Barry Bonds in Quickfire Ton

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By Nick Mulvenney

SYDNEY, Nov.28 (Reuters) – Steve Smith’s 63-ball century in Australia’s victory over India in the first day-long international match against India on Saturday ranked among the best in the 50 overs cricket, according to Australian skipper Aaron Finch.

Finch scored 114 but was happy to admit that there had been something special about the innings produced by Smith, who he revealed compared his best shot to the biggest puncher in Major League Baseball.

“His name is Barry Bonds when he gets into that kind of mood,” Finch said of Smith.

“He hit it beautifully, the way he moved, the intention he showed was unmatched, it’s as good a one-day round as you’ll see.”

Nearly 18,000 fans were on hand to witness the runfest at Sydney Cricket Ground, which kicked off the long-awaited India Down Under tour.

While Finch was happy with Australia’s 374 tally, he described the performance as “patchy” and was less than impressed with a string of lost holds and misses that kept India in the game.

“You have to take them,” he said, dismissing a suggestion that the players were rusty in their first international home game since March.

“Half the guys played (Sheffield) Shield and the other half played IPL and train hard in their forties.

“If we took the chances, we probably could have put the game out of doubt a little earlier.”

The costliest misfit could have been when Adam Zampa dropped a relatively easy chance to knock out Virat Kohli for a race, although in the end the Indian captain added just 20 more points to his tally before Finch doesn’t surprise him on a Josh Hazlewood ball.

Zampa redeemed himself with four for 54 to put an end to any hope of Indian victory, proving to Finch that he was his country’s top white ball cricketer.

“Bringing out good players under pressure is what it is and it certainly is what he did,” said Finch.

The second of three a day is at the same field Sunday.

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