Melbourne, Nov 7 (ANI): Skipper Ricky Ponting asked his team to be brave and face the might of Sachin Tendulkar and India in the nail biting fifth ODI at Hyderabad, which Australia won by three runs.
An emotional pre-match talk from Ponting was the catalyst for a remarkable match as the Australians overcame an extraordinary 175 from Tendulkar to win by three runs.
With his team ripped apart by injuries and in a hostile environment, it was effectively an Australia A attack that somehow managed to hang on as they claimed a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series, The Daily Telegraph reports.
"That's what I'm most proud of. Everything that's happened over the last couple of weeks, for us to keep finding ways to win games says a lot about the team, a lot about the individual players and the way we go about it," Ponting said.
"I actually asked the guys for a little bit extra, asked them to be really brave and to play the best form of cricket they possibly could and back themselves at every opportunity. I thought first half of the game with our batting we did that to a tee, and I think even in the last half of the game with the bowling we did that really well, so it a great day for us."
Ponting also lauded Tendulkar's effort, as The Little Master became the first batsman to pass 17,000 one-day runs. His 175 came off 141 balls, but his dismissal as India needed 19 runs from 17 balls was decisive.
India must win tomorrow's clash in Guwahati then again in Mumbai on Wednesday to clinch the series and top ranking from Australia. (ANI)