We were not good enough, India deserved to win: Ponting

Dwelling on the final Test, Ponting said Australia needed a flawless display to chase down the 382 runs it needed to win the Test and level the series.

updated: November 14, 2008 15:58 IST
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Australian captain Ricky Ponting on Monday said India deserved to win the Border-Gavaskar trophy because his teammates "weren't good enough" in the two matches they lost to the hosts.

"It's been a fair result, to tell you the truth," a candid Ponting said after Australia lost the fourth and final Test by 172 runs to India.

"It would have been an unbelievable run-chase if we could have got there today. With wearing wickets and good spinners, and fast bowlers doing their job, we were out of the game after lunch. We weren't good enough here or in Mohali," the Australian said.

"From the start of the second Test in Mohali, we've been chasing our tails and India deserve the 2-0 result," he added.

Australia dominated the first Test in Bangalore but India did manage to force a draw there before coming down hard on the visitors, crushing them by 320 runs in the next Test in Mohali.

Dwelling on the final Test, Ponting said Australia needed a flawless display to chase down the 382 runs it needed to win the Test and level the series.

"I told guys this morning that a win is possible only if we play perfect cricket throughout the day. But Indian pacers and spinners put lot of pressure on us and I guess we were out of the match right at lunch," he said.

Among his teammates, one Australian who will return with some fond memories of the series was off-spinner Jason Krejza who took 12 wickets in his debut Test which also won him the Man of the Match award.

"This is an experience I would never forget. I mean to get 12 wickets in the debut Test is something unbelievable," Krejza said.

The rookie spinner said though he played only the last Test, the entire series was a learning curve for him.

"What I learnt is Test cricket is very, very tough and you have to be patient. I realise I would not get 12 wickets everyday, maybe I'll get none in the next but I have to remain patient," he said.

Ishant Sharma was named Man of the Series for picking up 15 wickets and the Indian pacer thanked senior pro Zaheer Khan.

"He has lot of experience in international cricket and knows better how to bowl in this kind of wickets. He told me 'you cannot go for wicket in every delivery' and asked me to be patient," Ishant said.

"Indeed in Indian wickets, you have to be patient. But I must say that I got good support from the fielders and my skipper, besides the senior players," added the youngster.

Victorious captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who invited his predecessor Anil Kumble to join him in the prize giving ceremony, said though Australia scored at a brisk pace in the morning session, he never really worried about the victory.

"They were scoring at five-and-half this morning. But once they lost three wickets, I knew two more wickets and they would be in real trouble," he said.

Dhoni heaped praise on Ishant and Zaheer and said the new ball bowlers did an excellent job in the series.

"I must say that the pacers did the trick, not only in this match but in the series. On these tracks, it was not easy because there was not much in the wicket but they still bowled their heart out.

"It's not only the new ball, they bowled well with the old ball as well. Even when the ball was 60-over old, they were giving their best and bowling in the right areas," Dhoni said.

Asked how much the series meant to him, Dhoni said, "It was very important to win the series, for everyone was looking at it. This is bigger than say an India-Pakistan series. We were quite motivated and planned well and the execution was perfect."

Dhoni, however, admitted the retirement of the likes of Anil Kumble and Sourav Ganguly would leave a void in Indian cricket and the challenge is for the youngster to step in.

"Both of them are marvellous cricketers who have proved themselves over 16-17 years. Cricket has been a passion for both and we always looked upto them.

"Their absence would leave a big gap and it would be tough for youngsters to fill in the void," Dhoni said.