KL Rahul anchored the run-chase after India struggled early in the run-chase to take his side to a win in the first One Day International at Wankhede Stadium, in Mumbai with 10.1 overs and five wickets to spare.
Fast bowlers Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj took three wickets each as India bundled out Australia for 188 in Mumbai after a dramatic batting collapse in the first one-day international on Friday.
India were then reduced to 39/4 and then 83/5 thanks mainly to a brilliant Mitch Starc spell but Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja stitched together an unbeaten century partnership. India posted 191/5 in 39.5 overs with Rahul scoring 75* and Jadeja on 45*.
Mitchell Marsh lost fellow opener Travis Head early but buoyed the tourists with an attacking 81 to open the batting at the start of the three-match series.
But the innings turned on its head after his departure with Shami (3-17) and Siraj (3-29) wreaking havoc to dimiss Australia in 35.4 overs, after the tourists were put into bat first and looked solid on 129-2.
Playing in the three-match series as a specialist batter after recovering from an ankle injury, Marsh put on 72 runs for the second wicket with skipper Steve Smith, who made 22.
He smashed 10 fours and five sixes in his 65-ball knock to take the wind out of the Indian bowlers who hit back with wickets.
Marsh reached his fifty with a boundary and another four got Australia past 100 before he fell to Ravindra Jadeja in his attempt to go after the left-arm spinner and got caught.
Australia suddenly lost their way as Shami with help from Jadeja and Siraj ripped through the rest of the Australian order.
Josh Inglis, who donned the wicketkeeping gloves after Alex Carey was ruled out sick, looked good in his knock of 26 before being bowled by Shami.
Shami then sent back Cameron Green (12) and Marcus Stoinis (5) to break the back of the opposition batting.
Australia’s pace spearhead hurt India early in the chase with three his wickets after fellow quick Stoinis took down left-handed opener Ishan Kishan lbw for three.
Starc, a left-arm quick, then struck on successive deliveries to send back Virat Kohli (4) and Suryakumar Yadav (0) – both lbw.
Rahul, who recently lost his place to Shubman Gill in the final two Tests against Australia after an extended batting slump, played out the hat-trick ball but Starc got Gill out for 20.
Rahul and skipper Hardik Pandya, who made his debut as ODI captain in the absence of regular skipper Rohit Sharma, put on 44 runs.
Pandya fell to Stoinis on 25 but Rahul stood firm with the left-handed Jadeja, who hit the winning runs.
Rahul reached his 13th ODI fifty and then changed gears as he hit Adam Zampa for a four and six as India won with more than 10 overs to spare.
The second ODI is on Sunday in Visakhapatnam.
The player of the match award went to Ravindra Jadeja for his all-round display (2/46 and 45* to go with a spectacular catch).
Steve Smith, leading Australia in this series, said later that the difference in the end was the batting effort as he felt 260 or 270 was the par score.
Stand-in captain Hardik Pandya said his side were able to pull the momentum back when under pressure in both the innings.
With AFP inputs