All credit goes to Indian team, says Ponting

Published: Tuesday, March 4, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Brisbane: Captain Ricky Ponting today admitted that India outplayed Australia in the two finals, and deserved to go home with the trophy.

"All credit goes to the Indian team and Mahendra Singh Dhoni that they outplayed us in the last week," Ponting said after the nine-run loss in the second tri-series final at the Gabba.

"There are no excuses - we lost three games in a row and two of them were finals," he said.

It is the second successive year Australia has lost in a home series final, after England's 2-0 win in 2007.

"Our level of cricket has dropped and we did the same last year," he added.

Ponting denied that the friction between Harbhajan Singh and members of his team during India's tour had affected Australia's focus.

"It's quietened down over the last week and we've played our worst cricket over the last week," he said.

Disappointed over the loss to India in the CB Series finals, Australian captain Ricky Ponting blamed his batsmen for failing to deliver the goods.

''The batting has been inconsistent and my form has been awful all the way through the series,'' Ponting said. ''When you're batting at number 3, you need to take up a lot of that responsibility. I haven't done that and I'm as guilty as anyone for that.'' Australia slumped to 3 for 32 and were 5 for 123 when Andrew Symonds was lbw to Harbhajan Singh for 42. Michael Hussey resisted with a gutsy 44 and when he departed James Hopes gave Australia a slim chance of taking the series to the third game in Adelaide.

However, he was the last man out for 63 and they fell nine runs short of victory.

''I always felt we were behind,'' Ponting said. ''James did a terrific job to get us close with a very sensible and mature innings. But being around the team for a while, when Symonds got out, I thought that wicket would mean we would be one wicket short at the end. That's how it turned out.'' ''It's a disappointing way to finish the summer,'' he added.

''We dominated this series right up until the final hurdle, but we fell at the final hurdle. In these last two finals we've been a little bit off the mark.''


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