Heavy underdogs coming into the seven-match series, Australia stunned India in game one with a comprehensive 72-run victory.
Bailey's role in the victory cannot be understated, with his exceptional innings of 85 off 82 balls the ideal counterweight to Aaron Finch's aggressive 72 which set Australia off to a flying start.
Then Bailey, who is filling in as captain for the injured Michael Clarke, shrewdly read the momentum of the game and reintroduced bowlers at key times to maximum effect and threw in a terrific catch to remove Ravindra Jadeja (11) for good measure.
The end result was India's powerful batting line-up was bowled out for 232, well short of Australia's total of 8-302.
"I think it's huge," Bailey said after the match.
"We'll wait and see (just how big an impact winning first will have).
"It's such a long series so I don't know how important winning the first game is."
Australia's victory was, in a sense, death by a thousand cuts.
There were no true standout performances, with Bailey admitting even his impressive knock had flaws - he was disappointed to fall short of a second ODI century.
In addition to Bailey and Finch's key half-centuries, Phil Hughes added 47 in a 110-run opening stand, while Glenn Maxwell scored a fast-paced 31.
Australia's seam bowlers shared the wickets around, with James Faulkner cashing in with 3-47.
Mitchell Johnson (1-38) jagged the key wicket of dangerman Yuvraj Singh (7), while the death knell sounded when Clint McKay (2-36) rattled the stumps of Indian skipper MS Dhoni (19).
That wicket, with 109 runs still required from nine overs, sent the bulk of the 34,745-strong crowd for the exits.
Shane Watson, too, was effective on the slower-paced wicket finishing with 2-31.
"Mitch was fast, which always lifts the fielding side around him," Bailey said.
"I thought (Johnson and McKay) set a really great tone for us - Watto, outstanding.
"(It was) a fantastic all-round bowling performance which we're going to have to have.
"India's batting is so strong we're going to need all our bowlers performing well."
Dhoni admitted he felt Australia had batted their way into an unbeatable position, believing 260 was a par score in the Pune wicket.
Much of the praise was for Hughes and Finch, whose century stand to open the match set the tone for the Australians.
"It just settles everyone down in the changeroom and lays a great foundation," Bailey said.
"And it's nice for us to get 300, with Watto (2) missing out, to show that the rest of us can do it and we can still find our way through that."
QUICK SINGLE: Haddin OK after celebration mishap
Brad Haddin suffered an eye injury in a poorly-timed "high five" wicket celebration, but returned to the field and isn't considered in doubt for the second fixture in Jaipur on Wednesday.