Ricky Ponting described Australia's crushing win over Pakistan in Melbourne yesterday as "one of our best Test wins in quite a while" and challenged his side to again be a dominant force in world cricket.
Ponting surpassed Steve Waugh as the most successful captain in Test history with a 42nd victory in his 65th match as skipper, and also set another record as the player with more Test wins (93) than any other.
"It's been a great game for us," Ponting said. "It's one of our best Test wins in quite a while I think, starting right from the start of the game with the [Simon] Katich and [Shane] Watson partnership which really set the platform."
Nathan Hauritz cleaned up the tourists on the final day, taking his maiden five-wicket haul in first-class cricket as Australia secured a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series. Hauritz, who was urged by chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch to step up when it counted last week, finished with five for 101 as the tourists were bowled out for 251.
"What players like him need is just that breakout performance," Ponting said of Hauritz. "Unless you've actually got over the line and done it when it really matters, you always have doubts about yourself and whether you can do it. Today could be one of the really big turning points in Nathan's career."
Mitchell Johnson struck first for Australia with two wickets in two deliveries in the first over. "The way we bowled in the first innings in particular was just outstanding," added Ponting. "The way we used the new ball and were able to maintain our discipline and execute our skills over such a long period of time was a real factor in the game.
"In the past couple of years with our Test cricket we haven't done a lot wrong, we haven't won everything that we've played in but we've been ultra competitive against every team in every condition that we've been in.
"We haven't been as dominant, but we are building a squad of players right at the moment that, in a couple of years' time, are going to be a very dominant team again."
On his own personal milestone, Ponting said he was unaware of either record but proud to have achieved the feats in his favourite Test match of the year. "They're things I'll probably be most of proud of when I'm done. We all play to win games of cricket and be involved in a team that is winning games of cricket," he said.
Australia's selectors have stuck with the same squad for the second Test starting in Sydney on 3 January.