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Australia still the world's best, says Ponting

Ricky Ponting scoffs at suggestions Australia are in danger of losing their number one ranking due to the retirement of senior players.

cricket Updated: Jan 28, 2008 21:11 IST
Julian Linden

Ricky Ponting has scoffed at suggestions Australia were in danger of losing their number one ranking due to the retirement of senior players and India's improving performances.

Australia have lost five of their most experienced players over the last 14 months -- Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Justin Langer, Damien Martyn and Adam Gilchrist.

But captain Ponting, who is also entering the twilight of his career, said Australia had proven they had the depth to cover any retirements by beating India 2-1 in their four-match series that ended on Monday.

"I think we have done a good job," Ponting told a news conference after the fourth and final Test against India ended in a draw at Adelaide.

"Sri Lanka and India are two of the best Test teams in the world and we have just beaten them both here. The cricket we have played has been very good and I couldn't be much happier."

Ponting said he regarded India as the second best team in the world after they rebounded from losses in Melbourne and Sydney to win in Perth then draw in Adelaide.

However, he said his own team remained comfortably ahead of India and expected them to stay that way because so many senior Indian players were expected to quit in the next few years.

"Even though they're the No 2-ranked team right now they're going to lose four or five of their best players maybe even before the next time we play them," Ponting said.

"They're going to be going through a very similar phase to what we've gone through in the next 12 months. It will be really interesting to see how they and their team back up from that."

Ponting said there was enough talent in Australia to maintain their top ranking in Test cricket. "I don't know how far we are in front but you would think given what we have done over a fair period of time that we would be a fair way in front of the next team.

"It comes down to big moments in Test matches and Test series. This summer we have won most of those big moments."