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The Duckworth-Lewis-Stern Method is widely considered to favour the chasing team. That seemed to be the case on Sunday as well, during the first One-Day International between India and Australia in Chennai.

A two-hour rain delay after India posted 281 for 7 from 50 overs saw Australias target being revised to 164 from 21 overs. It might not have been wrong to think the equation favoured the visitor, especially in the era of Twenty20 cricket, but Australia only managed 137 for 9. The reason, according to Steve Smith, was the crucial difference between T20s and rain-curtailed ODIs one new ball from either end.

It was never going to be easy chasing 160 with two new balls, Smith said after the game. It was sort of a good new-ball wicket to bowl with. We could have perhaps played things a little bit differently and tried to take a little bit more time upfront. Its always hard in 20 overs to judge that. We werent good enough tonight.

I think 160 with one new ball would have made things a lot easier. As we saw through the whole game, it was a new-ball wicket. We took three wickets with the new ball and they found it quite hard. It was the same for us. When you are playing 20 overs, you don’t have a great deal of time to make things up when you need eight an over basically from ball one. It was difficult in that aspect. Perhaps we could have been a little bit more defensive at the start, tried to keep wickets in hand and go harder later, he said, adding that hed have preferred a 50-over innings.

Nathan Coulter-Nile struck the early blows for India dismissing Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli and Manish Pandey cheaply.

Smiths explanation, however, did not find buyers in the Indian camp. Speaking to reporters after spinning India to victory, Yuzvendra Chahal pointed to the field restrictions and added that the new balls made stroke-play easier.

The 21-over game was a plus-point for Australia because the rules were not according to T20, he explained. The extra fielder was always inside the circle. If they had won the game, they would have said it (two new balls) was a plus-point for them. Because in T20s, if there is a new ball from both ends, then it is good for the batsmen. There was something in the wicket, so we too had an advantage.

But our minus-point was that we had to bowl ten overs with each new ball. So we’ve bowled well. Whether it is a new ball or an old ball, our bowlers bowled well. We got a good start with the way our pacers bowled. We managed to keep the pressure on them from the start and didn’t give them a chance to come into the game.

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