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'Mental toughness was the difference'

Ricky Ponting attributed his team's crushing win over India on Sunday to their superior mental strength, saying the tourists had failed to raise their game when it mattered most.

india Updated: Feb 08, 2004 20:33 IST
Reuters
Reuters
PTI

Australia captain Ricky Ponting attributed his team's crushing win over India on Sunday to their superior mental strength, saying the tourists had failed to raise their game when it mattered most.

Ponting added that India's players had "run out of puff" during the best-of-three finals series, allowing the world champions to cruise to 208-run victory in the second final.

"When the big games come around, the character of this side really stands up," he said. "If you look back at the series, our batting was superior to India's and, in the last two games, it was chalk and cheese. India's batsmen just ran out of puff."

Ponting said India had played above themselves during the drawn test series but had been unable to sustain their high standards during the limited-overs matches.

"It's been a very tough tour for them," he said.

"They played as well as they can, especially their batsmen in the tests and the start of the one-day series, but you just can't keep playing that well on a two-and-a-half-month tour.

"We didn't see too many weaknesses in their batting at all but, as the series went on, we made some adjustments that helped us,* Ponting added.

HIGHEST TOTAL

After winning the first final in Melbourne on Friday by seven wickets, Australia piled on 359 for five in Sydney, equalling their highest ever total made against India at last year's World Cup final in South Africa.

The Australians then rolled the tourists for just 151 in 33.2 overs.

"We probably played as well as we can in the last two matches," Ponting said. "I thought we'd get around 300 today but I never thought we'd get to 359."

"But we timed our run to perfection. I think we had the momentum on our side going into the finals, and momentum is a big thing in cricket."

India captain Saurav Ganguly said his players were jaded after such a long tour but could not use fatigue as an excuse.

"We've played well all tour but we just didn't play well in the finals," he said.

"They lifted their game but we just didn't perform. We are tired but that's not an excuse, they played the same amount of cricket as us."

First Published: Feb 08, 2004 20:33 IST