Australian captain Ricky Ponting accepted that his side was thoroughly outplayed by India in the four-match Test series that ended in Nagpur on Monday. India won the series 2-0 and regained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after four years.
“We were totally outplayed by India in all departments and we have a lot to learn from the tour. It has been a fair result to tell the truth. We played good cricket in Bangalore but from there we have been chasing our tails," said Ponting after Australia lost the final Test by 172 runs.
Asked what was the turning point in the match, Ponting said: "India played good cricket and their tactics on the third day slowed us down dramatically. Looking back that was the turning point. We were not good enough, probably not patient enough."
The Australian captain also felt that the century-run stand in the second innings between Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh on the fourth day was also vital.
Dhoni and Harbhajan milked the spinners and slow bowlers for easy runs. Ponting had no other option but to go ahead with the slow bowlers, to catch up with the required overs rate, failing to which he could have been penalised by Match Referee Chris Broad.
"The partnership between Dhoni and Harbhajan was vital. Being nine overs behind doesn't help you. There was a similar partnership in Bangalore (between Harbhajan and Zaheer Khan). We didn't take our chances. We weren't good enough here and weren't good enough in Mohali and hence the two results went against us," he said.
He also had words of praise for Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma, who troubled the Australian batsmen throughout the series with their reverse swing.
“They have excelled this time. The Indian team as a whole has a very bright future. Rivalry between Australia and India is growing and looks like the two teams will be on top for a long time to come,” Ponting said.