England v Australia, 5th Test, The Oval, 5th day September 12, 2005

Ponting: 'We were never as good as England'

Cricinfo staff

Post-match quotes and reactions from the main players, as England regained the Ashes and ended their 16-year wait

Kevin Pietersen was outstanding in his innings of 158 © Getty Images
Ricky Ponting "Apart from when we won at Lord's (first Test) we were never as good as England and they deserve to win the Ashes."

Michael Vaughan "Kevin Pietersen was outstanding, but there have been a load of individual performances throughout the summer. It has been a hell of a lot of hard work but they believed in themselves and they expressed themselves out on the pitch."

Kevin Pietersen "It is fantastic. The boys have been amazing. I'm speechless really, and the last two months have been fantastic. Wearing the earrings its not going to make me cover drive any differently. I showed today that I am not just a glamour boy. Its amazing to have my mum and brother sitting up there. It is just special."

Andrew Strauss "It has been seven weeks of emotional turmoil. I am proud to be part of this team. Everyone has contributed this season. It makes you proud to be representing your country. We have just been on the very edge of our nerves all summer. It was a great privilege to watch Kevin today."

Andrew Flintoff "We witnessed one of the great innings today. His support from Ashley Giles (who made 59) epitomised what this side is about. Everyone in the dressing room plays a part from the captain to the coach. We go out there and play as a unit."

Duncan Fletcher "It has taken a long time but I would date it back three to four years when I spotted some good young players who could play for England. We have to keep on improving if we are to keep winning."

Shane Warne "England were better than us; it is as simple as that. We had a great battle but we were never as good as England throughout the series."