Centurion:Australia may have lost the aura of invincibility after the likes of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne made their exit but captain Ricky Ponting was happy that the youngsters have made a mark in the ICC Champions Trophy.
Having led Australia to their second successive Champions Trophy title, Ponting said the team has gone through a lot over the last one-and-half years and it was great to see the likes of Shane Watson and Cameron White making an impression.
"We have gone through some ups and downs in the last 18 months. A number of great players have left and we brought in a lot of young, fresh players. It was great to see some of them stand up and deliver," Ponting said after Australia beat New Zealand by six wickets in the final.
For Australia, Watson hit his second successive century and starred in a 128-run stand with White to see the side through.
"After the Ashes, ODI series started in England and we did well there to put ourselves in a position where we can give this tournament a little bit of a shake. We've played some great cricket over the last couple of weeks here," said Ponting, who won the Golden Bat award for leading run scorer besides being adjudged the Player of the Tournament.
Watson was beaming after playing yet another crucial knock and the dashing all-rounder said rebuilding the innings, from six for two wickets, was not an easy task.
"We needed discipline today, and we knew that if I was around till the 40th over, we had a chance. It was set up with Ricky's help in the semi-finals to get me through, and he missed out today, but it was time for another to step up," said Watson who was the obvious choice for the Man of the Match award.
"The wicket today was a little slower than the other night but Kyle Mills and Shane Bond bowled beautifully straight up until me and White had a good partnership," he said.
New Zealand's stand-in captain Brendon McCullum was dejected after the team's loss and he conceded 200 was just not a defendable total.
"Tonight was disappointing because we had big expectations. But we've come together as a group in this tournament. (Daniel) Vettori's absence (because of a hamstring injury) was a big blow and we were about 50 runs short today," he said.
"Anything around the 230-240 region, we would have had a chance. Kyle Mills and Shane Bond were brilliant, but unfortunately we didn't provide them enough runs. Australia were brilliant today and they are the deserving winners of the trophy," he added.
South African pacer Wayne Parnell (11) won the Golden Ball award for the highest wicket-taker, while the Australian team members were given the special winner's jacket.