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'It has been a big statement from us' - Ponting

Ricky Ponting, the Australian captain, came to the post-match press conference smelling of victory - champagne to be precise - and declared that his team were playing their best one-day cricket in a long time. He also used the occasion to strongly endorse the concept of Super Series despite the hopelessly one-sided nature of the inaugural affair.
Australia's desperation to win the series has been evident throughout the week and once again their collective effort shone much brighter than the uneasy assembly of a galaxy of stars drawn from seven different nations. "All through the week, it has been a big statement from us," Ponting said. "I have always said that if we can focus on things we can do, we can compete with any team in the world."

Ponting said his team had looked forward to this series for a long time and was proud of the way his players had stood up to the challenge. When it was pointed out to him that it hadn't been much of a challenge, Ponting justified the relevance of the concept.

"It is still a great concept," Ponting said when asked if the 3-0 result had hurt the credibility of the tournament. "I hope the result doesn't prove to be detrimental to the idea. There were some pretty good players and I reckon the Test match might be a bit more different."

Shaun Pollock, the captain of the vanquished team, concurred. "I still think it's a pretty good idea to hold this every four years. We had a good team, it's just that we couldn't come up with the performances.

"They (Australia) gave a superb performance throughout the series. We needed just one classy performance from the star players but they did not click together."

In Sunday's match, Pollock admitted his side was never in the hunt once it lost four wickets for some 30 odd runs. "[Brett] Lee actually stalled our big chase by taking three wickets cheaply and that put pressure on us."

Pollock said the Sydney Test would provide the opportunity for the World XI players to redeem themselves. "Test match cricket is a bit more of an individual game and it will provide the scope for some of our players to express themselves. Our batsmen haven't got going in the one-day matches and they have a point to prove in Sydney."

The World XI captain said the selectors, headed by India's Sunil Gavaskar, had chosen a quality side, "But we just didn't play like the side we could".

Pollock also felt that the timing of the series could be reconsidered. "We had a few players who had no cricket for a long time and players from India and Sri Lanka came from matches against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. And from that perspective we were underdone, but you also have to understand the schedules these days is very difficult to fit more cricket in," he said. "A series like this is perhaps better held at the end of the season."

Shane Watson was Australia's hero once again. He was not only their most successful bowler with 4 for 39, but he weighed in with a vital, run-a-ball 66 which bailed Australia out of a difficult situation at 155 for 5.

Watson had said at the start of the series that he could be Australia's answer to Andrew Flintoff. Pretty big words for a player with a modest international record. But after back-to-back match winning performances, he was pretty confident that he could back his words with deeds. "I would love to be the player Flintoff is," he said, "I admire the way he contributes with the bat and the ball match after match, and I believe that I can contribute similarly for Australia.

"I am enjoying my cricket at the moment and I am not trying to put myself under too much pressure. And it's working well for me. "

Ponting said he had been impressed with Watson's performances in England and the way he had learnt to build an innings. He was also full of praise for Mike Hussey, whose unbeaten 75 was an intelligent mixture of placing the ball in the gaps and finding the boundary at the right moment.