Pandya, Dhoni partnership made the difference: Smith

Chennai, Sep 17: Australia skipper Steve Smith on Sunday said India's Hardik Pandya and M.S. Dhoni's partnership made the difference in the first One-day International here at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Sunday. India won by 26 runs via Duckworth-Lewis method after posting 281/7 on board and then restricting the tourists to 137/9 in 21 overs chasing a revised 164. "We bowled very well with the new ball. M.S. and Hardik played really well. They were the difference. We couldn't capitalise on the start. The new ball was stopping a bit and some were skidding on," Smith said at the post match presentation ceremony. India were 87/5 at one stage after skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to bat but then Pandya and Dhoni's 118-run sixth wicket stand changed the game for them. The Aussies then lost their top and middle order in a hurry, reeling at 35/4 at one point. "We lost too many wickets in the middle. We can't control the weather. No complaints," Smith said. Rain stopped play for some time before the match was reduced to almost a T20 affair. "Tonight we weren't good enough and we were outplayed by India. "I thought they (our fast bowlers) bowled really well, especially with the new ball. Hopefully they can back up in couple of days time. It worked with the new ball today. It was swinging early," Smith said referring to Nathan Coulter-Nile and Pat Cummins who rocked the India top order at the outset. Australia will now have to get their act together in the next rubber at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday.