Ponting hails Indian youngsters

The Australian captain admits to have been outplayed in the CB Series finals.

updated: March 04, 2008 15:12 IST
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Australian captain Ricky Ponting admitted that India's young players had added a lot of energy to the team and it was possibly a key factor in their historic tri-series triumph.

He said India had followed a "youth-only policy" and it had paid dividends in the series.

"We actually discussed it the other day, there's been only one or two changes in our side which has handled the rigours of this entire summer," Ponting said after India beat his team by nine runs to record their first-ever tri-series triumph Down Under.

"There wasn't much change-over and you wonder if some could have been given some rest.

"(But) Indians followed the youth-only policy. At that time, I had expressed surprise at (Sourav) Ganguly's omission. But yes, the younger lots have added a lot of energy to the group," he said.

Ponting said he always thought his team was doing the catching-up under the lights.

"Though James Hopes kept us in the game and played very maturely, I always thought we were a bit behind. When Matthew Hayden was out, I knew it was a key moment. I felt we were a wicket short in this game and that's how it turned out."

Ponting expectedly blamed his batsmen and took the most responsibility himself for his side's failure.

"It's a disappointing end to the summer. Whenever we have put on a stand and there's been a glimmer of hope, we've lost a wicket. This happened again today.

"My own form has been awful and I take up that responsibility. I am as much guilty as anyone else. I thought my luck would change after that 100 (in Sydney) but the last three innings have again been failures."

Ponting offered heaps of praise to the way the Indians played in the series.

"They thoroughly deserve it and played very well. endulkar set the game in both the finals and some of the youngsters, like Rohit and Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar are very talented players. Indian team is renowned for lots of talented players and so it has been in this summer."

Ponting refused to believe that controversies have had a role in his side's poor performance in the finals.

"This summer it's been more constant than it has been in the past, but when the controversy was at its' height, we were actually winning.

"You can't blame controversy on our performance."