Tuesday 17 June 2008 

Ponting Praises Australian Team In Transition

Australian captain Ricky Ponting has paid tribute to the way his side has performed during a 'transition period' following the retirement of a number of world-class players.

Ponting's side, which sealed a 2-0 series win over the West Indies in the Caribbean, has had to cope without Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Justin Langer and Damien Martyn after their retirements over the last two years, added to which came the retirement of Stuart MacGill during this series and injury to Matthew Hayden.

"I'm really happy. Everyone's been talking about this transition phase that our team's been going through," Ponting said after the match, which Australia won by 87 runs in Barbados.

"It's right, we are going through that sort of transition, we've lost six or seven players in the last 12 months.

"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 for me and the rest of the guys going forward."

He also paid tribute to Australia's state cricket, saying the four-day Pura Cup competition was a good breeding ground for Test players.

"I think it's pretty good in our state system.

"I think 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 Brad Haddin and Beau Casson and even Simon Katich coming back in the side.

"I'm really happy with where we're at, at the moment."

Australia now face West Indies in a Twenty20 International on Friday before five One Day Internationals.