Australia have realised just how high their standards must be if they are to retain their world supremacy following a 2-0 series loss to India, captain Ricky Ponting said on Monday.
Ponting Calls For Australia To Raise Standards
Australia celebrate a wicket during the Nagpur Test.
©REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe (INDIA) Picture Supplied by Action Images
India beat Australia by 172 runs in the fourth Test on Monday to hand the world number one side their first series defeat since the 2005 Ashes tour to England.
"That's the lessons we've all learned, particularly the younger guys, about how high that level has to be if you want to win Test series in this part of the world," Ponting told reporters.
"The expectations of all of us probably have to go down slightly when you lose some of the great players we've lost but I still expect a certain level of play from the Australian team.
"You don't get to wear the baggy green (Test cap) unless you're an exceptionally talented and hard-working cricketer."
Australia have lost bowlers Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne and wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist through retirements and only Ponting, Michael Clarke, Simon Katich and Matthew Hayden from the current squad had Test experience in India prior to this tour.
The Indians won the second Test at Mohali by a record 320 runs to go 1-0 up in the series. Australia's bowlers then managed to take only 12 Indian wickets in the drawn third Test and Ponting gambled by handing off-spinner Jason Krejza his debut in the final Test.
Krejza took eight wickets in the first innings for a match haul of 12 wickets.
"Jason's debut is astounding really, for someone to take 12 wickets on debut is a magnificent achievement," Ponting said.
"He's stood up to be counted probably more than anybody else has in the whole series with his one opportunity."
Australia take on New Zealand next in a two-Test series this month.
"It's a short turnaround for us, we've another Test in a week and a half's time or whatever it is and have to make sure when we get back to Australia against New Zealand that we're doing things a lot better than we have here," Ponting said.
© Reuters 2008