Ponting praises new-look side's winning touch

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The Independent Online

The Australia captain Ricky Ponting, pleased with a 2-0 series victory over West Indies secured with a win in the third Test on Monday, said they remained a team that knows how to win when it matters most.

The retirements of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Justin Langer and Adam Gilchrist, who had helped Australia dominate world cricket for more than a decade, led some to question whether Ponting's side would be able to stay at the top of the sport.

"I'm really happy. Everyone's been talking about this transition phase that our team's been going through," Ponting said. "It's right, we are going through that sort of transition, we've lost six or seven players in the last 12 months. But we're still beating teams. We're still winning Test matches and winning series. We're probably not demolishing sides like we might have two years ago, but we're grinding teams down and winning Test matches, and we're doing it well. That's a really pleasing thing."

Ponting said Australia's domestic competition ensured players reached the Test side with the right mentality. "I think it's pretty good in our state system," he said. "A lot of the guys come into international cricket knowing a certain way to play their cricket. You couldn't ask for a better start for [wicketkeeper] Brad Haddin and [new spinner] Beau Casson and even Simon Katich coming back in the side. I'm really happy with where we're at."

Pointing singled out Katich, who scored centuries in the second and third Tests, pace bowler Stuart Clark, who bowled consistently and took crucial wickets, as well as allrounder Andrew Symonds for key contributions throughout the series.