Brisbane: After notching up a crushing 110-run win against India, stand-in Australian captain Ricky Ponting said it`s been a long time since he has seen the hosts bowl as well as they did in Sunday`s game.
The Australians bundled out India for 178 after setting them a stiff target of 289 to win.
"It`s been a long time since I have seen an Australian team bowl as well as they did tonight. The way they were able to be aggressive early on with the new ball, but at the same time be able to restrict India from scoring boundaries was absolutely first class," said Ponting.
Comeback paceman Ben Hilfenhaus took a career-best five for 33 in his nine-odd overs.
"For Ben (Hilfenhaus) to come away with a five-for in his first game in a long time was a great reward for him. I think selectors have had this gameplan for Hilfy for quite a while.
"We always know here in Brisbane the ball is going to swing a lit bit particularly with two new balls we have got now. We knew the conditions would suit him, particularly after we won the toss.
"The ball normally does a little bit more at night here, but I thought his control early on, the line and length he bowled early, along with the aggression, was the reason he bowled as well as he did."
Ponting was also very pleased with his side`s batting.
"We felt it was good (score), just a little bit over par. Most of the batters came off today. The wicket was slightly on the slower side for a Brisbane one-day wicket.”
"I thought the way we approached our batting today, being a little bit more patient at the top, giving ourselves a chance to establish partnerships, keeping wickets in hand until the end of the innings, and being able to explode a bit in the last 10 overs. It`s the way we play our best one-day cricket and I think we did really well that today."
Most of the questions then surrounded around Ponting`s continued poor form in a long summer and whether he has come to the end of the road as far as one-day cricket is concerned.
"It hasn`t been that long a summer, the last couple of weeks. I haven`t spent much time in the middle. I think for me in the last couple of weeks, the body is staying in touch with everything, my mind has been a little bit behind where it needs to be. So the next couple of days are important for me.”
"I think the selectors are talking about the squad tomorrow afternoon so I am not going to put my hand up and say I want a break, because when you are going through a lean trot like I have in the last couple of games, you want to be able to turn that around."
Ponting also reiterated that he would like to continue playing one-day cricket and would love to be in West Indies. He was asked if he still has something left to achieve in one-day cricket.
"If that time ever comes for me, when I start questioning if I want to play the game or not, the time has already passed you. You should have given up the game. People ask me similar questions, I guess, through the Tests as well, before the Indian series, I had a lot of questions asked.”
"If I still thought I could do it, if I still thought I had the passion of keep playing, definitely yes. I wouldn`t have run to the nets yesterday for an hour and a half if I didn`t have that determination to try and make myself better and improve every day.”
"There`s never a training session that goes by where I leave the training track without being a hundred per cent happy with what I want from the training day. That`s the way I have always been about my cricket. That`s the way I`ll finish.”
Hilfenhaus, understandably, was delighted with his performance and the team`s win.
"Obviously, it`s nice to be back in the coloured clothing. Today was a pretty good performance from the whole team. We knew we had to address a few things. Obviously to be part of a pretty good win is a good feeling."