5-2 sounds a lot better than 4-3 - Ponting
The series is already in the bag but a confident Ricky Ponting has reminded everyone that there is a game to go and that Australia intend to win it. After regaining their No. 1 ranking in style - they beat England 6-1 and retained the Champions Trophy - Ponting felt the current series win proved his side was on the right track again.
"We want to finish the tour on a very positive note," he said after Australia's training in Mumbai. "We've played some excellent cricket over the past few weeks and, while the series has been decided, it's certainly not over as far as we're concerned. To me 5-2 sounds a lot better than 4-3 does, so we're going to go ahead full steam."
"I said to the players before this series that I didn't care who it was - even if we had 11 players - but if we all contributed in each game, we would be very hard to beat," he said. "If you look back at our performances, we've had a few guys who have contributed more than the Indians have. That's been a big reason for our success."
Ponting had already compared the series win to Australia's Champions Trophy and World Cup wins but still found time to praise a "special" success.
"There are a lot of other teams at full strength who come to India and struggle to win, but we've come here with nine guys out the team injured and still managed to win," he said. "It is a great achievement and everyone in the team and support staff should be very proud."
Australia's campaign in India was ravaged by injury even before it started with four first-choice players - Nathan Bracken, Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin and Callum Ferguson - unavailable for selection. Their troubles grew more severe during the tour as Brett Lee, James Hopes, Tim Paine, Peter Siddle and Moises Henriques also picked up injuries and had to be flown home. But that did not deter them from playing as a unit and winning consecutive games to clinch the series.
"Every injury creates another positive in that you get a young guy out there exposed to the international level," said Ponting. "We've had a lot of guys who have that experience now. Cameron White's got a lot of experience under his belt, Ben Hilfenhaus and Doug Bollinger have got a few games, [Clint] McKay got a game, Nathan Hauritz is really coming of age as a spinner, Shaun Marsh is back at the top, Shane Watson's got a lot of cricket under his belt.
"All of a sudden we had a side that looked very inexperienced but now we're starting to take shape like an Australian side that's been looking as recognised over the past few years. There's a World Cup 12 months away that we're starting to build towards and this squad we've used over the recent past should keep us in really good shape."