A calamitous collapse threatened to cost Australia victory at the MCG, but James Faulkner guided his side to a four-wicket win over India early this morning (NZT).
Australia were cruising when they needed 50 runs off the final 10 overs with seven wickets in hand, but the tourists fought back boldly to reduce that equation to 14 runs off 11 balls.
Faulkner responded with two boundaries, enhancing his status as Australia's closer as they passed their victory target of 268 in the one-day international (ODI) with an over to spare.
Aaron Finch scored 96 and his 101-run partnership with Steve Smith piloted Australia to a point where they needed 52 runs from 63 deliveries.
Finch reined in his natural aggression, reaching 64 off 96 balls before walloping his first six of the night.
Both he and Smith focused instead on swift running between the wickets and the easy ones and twos on offer.
Smith fell for 47 in the 40th over and Finch trudged off the following over as Australia slumped from 2-216 to 6-248.
"It's a perfect warm-up for the World Cup, you want to win games under pressure," Brad Haddin said after scoring an unbeaten 13 off 11 balls.
India's total of 8-267, built on the back of Rohit Sharma's masterful 138, was proven to be sub-par on a pristine batting pitch.
As a battle between the No.1 and No.2 sides on the ICC's one-day rankings, it was a decent World Cup tune-up.
As an encore to the four-Test series, in which Smith compiled an unfathomable 769 runs, it delivered some new hits.
Finch banked on patience instead of power batting, with the opener reluctant to take a risk following the dismissals of David Warner (24) and Shane Watson (41).
But Mitchell Starc, leading the pace attack in the absence of fellow left-armer Mitchell Johnson, was man of the match.
Starc finished with career-best figures of 6-43.
One run less and he would have equalled Ajit Agarkar for the best figures achieved in an ODI in Australia.
Starc struck late and early, helping reduce the visitors to 3-59 before Sharma steadied.
Sharma's knock was the highest ODI score by a visiting batsman at the MCG since Sir Viv Richards' unbeaten 153 in 1979.
He pushed India to a score of 3-185 in the 35th over alongside half-centurion Suresh Raina, when a total of more than 300 was on the cards.
Starc dismissed both men, as India managed 61 runs from their final 10 overs.
A full toss from Starc was an inappropriate end to Sharma's masterful innings, with the opener popping up a regulation catch to Maxwell at midwicket in the 49th over.
As was the case in the Test series, tempers flared.
The flashpoint came following the 23rd over of India's innings, when Sharma and David Warner came face-to-face in an ugly stoush.
Umpires John Ward and Kumar Dharmasena intervened to separate Sharma and Warner, while captain George Bailey also attempted to cool things down.
"I think Rohit was fine with it, I didn't even bother to ask what really happened," India skipper MS Dhoni said of the heated confrontation. "It was between two grown men and I hope it was sorted out in the middle."