Mumbai:The series might be in their pocket but Australia captain Ricky Ponting on Tuesday said his world champion side would not lower the intensity when they take on India in the inconsequential seventh and final one-dayer here on Wednesday.
"We want to finish the tour on a very positive note. As far I can see 5-2 looks better than 4-3. We played some excellent cricket in the last few weeks," Ponting told reporters ahead of Wednesday's match.
"Yes, the series has been decided, but certainly it is not over as far as we are concerned. We are obviously going full steam ahead to try and win the game and finish the tour on a very good note," he said.
Ponting said the key to his side's victory in the series, which he placed alongside World Cup triumphs, was the way the youngsters raised their game in the face of the injury crisis that rocked the team.
"It says all about the individual players. It's a hard thing to get a game for Australia. Whenever the opportunity comes around, the guys want to grab it with both hands. I said before the start of the tour, if we had 11 players and if they would all contribute each time we play we will be very hard to beat," the Australian captain said.
"I compare this series with any other I was part of, whether it was World Cup or Champions Trophy. To get over the adversity and to win a series has been terrific. To come here with nine guys injured and still managing to win, it's got to be a great achievement for this team and the coaching staff," Ponting said.
Ponting said his bowling attacks, despite missing the likes of Brett Lee, was stronger than India's and was a crucial factor in the outcome of the series.
"I think in different times in the series we have seen how good and dangerous the Indian side could be, in the second and third games of the series, especially in batting. The difference between the two sides has been the bowling.
"In Mohali, we restricted them after getting out for 250.
That was a terrific effort after we thought we should have scored a few more runs there. I saw stats in the paper in the morning, in batting two of us and two of them were in the top, but our guys probably had more wickets," he said.
Ponting felt the Aussies were also better in dealing with pressure, highlighted by the close victories they secured in Vadodara and Hyderabad.
"The first one (at Vadodara), they got a lot closer, which we should not have allowed. Harbhajan (Singh) and Praveen (Kumar) made runs.
"The second close one was Sachin (Tendulkar) making that hundred. India were in the box seat for the last half an hour to win the game", he said.
"But, as you see in one-day cricket, you get one wicket and one breakthrough at the right time and, when you are chasing runs, if we apply pressure at the right time, it is always hard to chase. We just managed to do that. I think our guys held the nerve very well", Ponting said.
Ponting was especially happy with the way his bowlers contained Sachin Tendulkar, who is completing 20 years in the international game on November 14, right through the series barring the Hyderabad match where he made a brilliant 175 to bring India to the doorsteps of an amazing victory chasing 350.
"It is an amazing achievement to play 20 years of international cricket. Except for one innings, we really bowled very well to him, particularly in the first three games when Peter Siddle was in our side. Siddle bowled exceptionally well to him. But he (Tendulkar) is one of the guys you cannot afford. If you give an inch he takes it all away as he showed in Hyderabad," the visiting team captain said.
The right-hander was happy with the progress the younger members of his team showed in the series.
"All of a sudden we had inexperience in our team (following the spate of injuries). With every negative you have with injuries, obviously it creates positives. We felt a lot of guys have got the experience now. There is the World Cup, 18 months away as well. We will build towards it. This tour has come on good and hopefully it (team) should be in very good shape when the World Cup is around," he said.
Ponting said the team now wants to get back its top Test ranking after having retained the number one status in the 50-over game with the series win over India.
"Our cricket in general is set in the right direction. We will obviously be ranked number one (ODI team) in the world. Again it is a great achievement. Obviously we want to get our Test ranking back again as well," he said.
Ponting asserted that the Champions Trophy in South Africa, which his team won to retain the crown, and the current series against India were a good pointer that the one-day game was alive and kicking.
"This sort of series has shown how well and alive one-day cricket is. It is amazing how many messages we received from Australia after the Hyderabad game that it was one of the best one-day games they had seen. That amount of runs scored (697), Sachin doing what he did, Watson and Marsh doing what they did.
"That game showed that 50-over game can be entertaining. The last two series I have played - Champions Trophy and this series here - have both been terrific one-day series. As far as Twenty20 game taking over world cricket, the one-day game can stand up at this moment," he reiterated.