Put into bat by Indian skipper M S Dhoni at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here, the host struck early blows with stand-in captain Adam Gilchrist and one down Brad Hodge returning to the pavilion early in the innings.
Left hander Mathew Hayden (75, 89 balls, 5 fours, 3 sixes), Andrew Symonds (87, 84 balls, 9 fours, 2 sixes), Michael Clark (27, 38 balls, 3 fours) and Brad Haddin (87, 69 balls, 9 fours, 2 sixes) rescued Australia.
Hayden and Symonds put on a rescue act adding 94 runs off an equal number of balls. Symonds and Haddin added another 108 runs for the fifth wicket to see the team go past the 300 mark.
Zaheer Khan (1-55), Irfan Pathan (2-47) and the local lad Sreeshanth (3-67) were the main wicket takers for India.
The onus fell on the seasoned campaigner Mathew Hayden and the hero of the Bangalore ODI Michael Clark, who had scored a scintillating century there. They put on a 50-run stand in just 60 balls when Hayden was on 29 and Clark on 22 as Indian captain Dhoni had his bowlers Zaheer, Irfan, Sreeshanth and offie Harbhajan switching ends.
The pitch had uneven bounce. In the first bowling change Irfan Pathan replaced Sreesanth in the tenth over. After ten overs Australia were 44 for two.
Howerver, just as the Aussies appeared to be settling down, captain Dhoni livened up things for India again and dealt another blow to the Aussies, stumping Michael Clark off pacer Irfan Pathan.
As Clark walked off and waited on the boundary line near the Aussies' dressing room, umpire Steve Bucknor signaling a wide delivery, sought the opinion of the third umpire, who upheld the dismissal.
As Clark fell for 27 off 38 balls (3 fours), the Kangaroos were tottering at 66-3 off 15.3 overs. However, Andrew Symonds, looking for a good strike in the wake of his failure in Bangalore, joined Hayden and indulged in some lusty hitting in between cautious batting. He struck the first six of the match off Harbhajan and then lifted the other off spinner Ramesh Powar coming on for the first time at the pavilion end, for a second, over mid wicket.
The Aussies put themselves on course to at least a respectable score and make a match of it as Symonds and Hayden were digging in. The right-left partnership did not budge. The Aussies were 160-4 in 31.1 overs. Hayden made 75 runs off 89 balls with five fours and three sixes. The stand with Symonds was worth 94 runs off 99 balls and ended just as the coveted 100-run partnership appeared to be coming easily.
However, as Brad Haddin, the new talent in the team joined him, Symonds completed his 50 off 46 balls and Aussies were 163 for 4 off 32 balls and still fighting to put up a challenging total.
Switching ends but unable to separate the Symonds-Hading duo, the Indian bowlers were bowling on the spot at least to keep the flow of runs down. But the Aussie score swelled to 234 in 43 overs. The Aussie batsmen put some pressure on Indians taking some sharp singles and whacking the ball to the ropes whenever they could. The 300 mark was clearly in ther minds. They were well on course as it appeared completing a 100 run stand off 86 balls and Hadding reaching his 50 off 48 balls with three fours and two sixes.
However, Sreeshanth brought back at the far end, struck for India dismissing Symonds caught and bowled as the batsman going for a big hit over mid wickettop edged the bowler. Sreesbhant moved in quickly under the ball and held an easy catch.
Symonds and Hadding put on 108 runs for the fifth wicket as the Aussies raised their total to a respectable 268 in 46.5 overs as Symonds departed after a heroic innings.
Another new talent James Hopes joined Hadding. Hadding lofted Zaheer Khan for a six over mid wicket. But as the Aussies were at 295-5 in 49 overs, Hoes fell to Sreeshant brought in at the pavillion end. His cover drive went straight into the hands of Dravid. Aussies were 297-6 as Sreeshant picked up his third wicket, with his aim of a bag of five on home pitch not coming through.