BANGALORE, India - Australia's greatest Ashes fear was revealed in Saturday's shattering 57-run defeat to India, with Shane Watson sustaining a hamstring injury.
The key allrounder was hobbled while bowling as India racked up an enormous 6-383 in Bangalore en route to a victory that secured them a 3-2 series win.
Watson will arrive in Australia on Monday morning for scans to reveal the extent of the damage but — given his history with injury — must be in serious doubt to line up for the opening Test at the Gabba in 18 days time.
India's total was built around man-of-the-series Rohit Sharma's astonishing 209, the second-highest individual ODI score of all time.
Australia's gallant run chase was sparked by the most unlikely of centuries to James Faulkner and a 115-run 10th wicket partnership with Clint McKay (18).
The Australians were never realistically in the chase, despite explosive cameos from Glenn Maxwell (60 off 22) and Watson (49 off 22), until Faulkner reprised his Mohali heroics.
In that match he thumped 30 off one Ishant Sharma over in a match-winning 64 off 29.
On Saturday, he clubbed six sixes and 11 fours in a blistering 73-ball 116 but couldn't get his side across the line.
He reached three figures from just 57 balls, making it the fastest ODI century by an Australian - bettering Matt Hayden's 66-ball effort against South Africa in 2007.
In a series of numerous batting records and extraordinary feats, this was arguably the most unbelievable.
"It was extraordinary," Bailey said.
"The whole series has been extraordinary."
But of great concern is the status of their fragile allrounder who succumbed to the injury after pulling out of his delivery stride at the start of his sixth over.
He returned for a brutal cameo as Australia were bowled out for 326, but his availability for the Gabba Test is surely in doubt.
Selectors may be heartened that he was able to bat at all, but he did so in obvious pain throughout his 22-ball innings.