Ponting devastated but defiant despite World Cup loss

Ahmedabad: Devastated to finish on the losing side in what was probably his last World Cup game but defiant nonetheless, Australian captain Ricky Ponting has insisted that the quarterfinal loss to India should not be construed as the end of an era in his country`s cricket.

Ponting, who was aiming to lead the Aussies to their fourth World Cup title, also predicted that India would beat Pakistan in the semifinal and Mahendra Singh Dhoni`s men are strong favourites to win the coveted title after a gap of 28 years.

"India played well as a team and deserved victory. We were not good enough (to win). Going forward they will be pretty hard to beat. They will beat Pakistan in the semifinal and go on to win the World Cup now," Ponting said at the post-match press conference after Australia were knocked out of the World Cup by India here last night.

"India have a very good batting line up. We played very competitive cricket tonight but I`m disappointed with the two successive losses (against Pakistan in their last league game and today against India)," he said after his side`s five-wicket loss in a high-octane World Cup quarterfinal.

But rejected suggestions it was the end of an era in Australian cricket.

"It`s a bit premature to say it was the end of an era for Australian cricket, it was a pretty good game tonight. I do not think we were far away from winning the game against a very good Indian team on their home soil. I think it`s a bit too early to say it`s the end of an era," said Ponting.

He said he would not be playing in the next World Cup but ruled out quitting one-day cricket.

"I am not quitting one-day cricket but this is probably my last World Cup game. I will be happy to look back after retirement that I made a century in my last innings in the World Cup," Ponting said.


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