West Indies v Australia, Final, Champions Trophy November 5, 2006

'Winning the event means a lot' - Ponting

'The silverware as such doesn't mean too much, but winning the event means a lot' - Ricky Ponting © AFP
Ricky Ponting, the first Australian captain to win the Champions Trophy, was understandably overjoyed at the end of his team's successful campaign, and suggested that Nathan Bracken's spell of 3 for 22, when West Indies came out all guns blazing, paved the way to victory. "Bracken was terrific," he said. "He was probably the difference in the game today. I knew he had a good chance of getting their left-handers out, and he got both Gayle and Chanderpaul. He has been a terrific one-day bowler.

But Ponting said this win had little bearing on the Ashes campaign ahead of them. "When we take the field on the first day at Brisbane we won't be thinking about what we did here. This will not have a bearing on the Ashes," he said. "The personnel are different, but we can only take confidence from this win."

For a while now, not winning the Champions Trophy has haunted the Australians, but Ponting, who had even earlier suggested too much was made of this fact, said that there was more to this win than merely the title. "The silverware as such doesn't mean too much, but winning the event means a lot. It's not always easy to come to India and win tournaments, and we have managed to win a few in the last couple of years. We adapted really well, and I am proud of everybody in the squad. This is great reward for a lot of hard work. Winning is not a fluke or because we are better than the other teams; it is come on the back of a lot of hard work and it is great to see the results coming the way of guys who have worked hard. We didn't sit back and wait for things to happen, we went out and made them happen."

Looking back at the start West Indies were given by Gayle and Chanderpaul Ponting said, "We knew there was always a chance of that with those two opening. They got off to a great start today, but as we have found with the West Indies in the last couple of years, a couple of quick wickets makes a massive impact and you can go through them quickly. I said yesterday too that I wanted to see them bat under pressure, and once they lost a couple of wickets and came under pressure, they succumbed. Full credit to our bowlers for the way they came back after that start. It was a very commanding win. To get to the final and perform like this is very satisfying. We are at our best in the big games and in the big finals."

Shane Watson whose 2-11 and unbeaten 57 won him the man-of-the-match award ahead of Bracken was pleased to pick up the award in the big final. "It is great to be able to play well in big matches," he said. "To get us through to victory quite easily in the end was very satisfying. My game plan was to bat through till victory was achieved, and this innings today is a massive confidence-builder."

Anand Vasu is assistant editor of Cricinfo