Maxwell watches on as Australia make 5-288
USMAN Khawaja, Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb all passed 50 as Australia posted a total of 5-288 in Saturday's ODI series opener against India.
Desperate to shore up a World Cup defence that looked in awful shape after three wins from Australia's past 21 completed ODIs, selectors made six changes to the incumbent XI and reshuffled the batting order.
Khawaja scored 59 during his first ODI in almost two years, fellow recalled batsman Handscomb top-scored with 73 while Marcus Stoinis smacked an unbeaten 47 off 43 balls.
The absence of a collapse was a big tick, especially after Australia slipped to 2-41 when promoted opener Alex Carey joined captain Aaron Finch in the pavilion.
But the hosts' inability to lift the run-rate in the immediate aftermath of Marsh's dismissal, on 54 in the 38th over, led to plenty of wisecracks in the commentary box about their cautious approach matching the canary-yellow retro kit from 1986.
Australia failed to find or clear the rope once between the start of the 37th over and end of the 43rd over, a stretch that produced just 27 runs.
Stoinis then belted two sixes off Kuldeep Yadav, taking 14 runs from the 44th over, and helped Australia score 18 runs off the final over, but it was going to take some serious fireworks to conjure a 300-plus total.
Glenn Maxwell, batting at No.7, entered the fray during the 48th over and finished 11 not out.
Shane Warne criticised the decision not to produce the world's most destructive batsmen earlier.
"Glenn Maxwell should face more than five balls in a one-day international," he said.
"He's so dangerous but only faced five balls. Australia could've posted a 300+ total but Maxwell didn't face enough balls."
Khawaja's 92-run stand with Marsh was Australia's best partnership of the match.
Yadav and Khawaja, who was installed at first drop and trapped lbw by Ravindra Jadeja, both suggested the pitch was playing slow.
"Obviously I would have liked to go on with it a little bit," Khawaja told Fox Cricket.
"It was a nice partnership with SOS ... it was disappointing that neither of us went on with it.
"When you lose two wickets in the powerplay, you know what to do."
Yadav suggested 288 was a good total on the pitch.