Melbourne, Jan 7 (ANI): Australian skipper Ricky Ponting, who had been under heavy pressure since his team collapsed for 127 on the first day of the Sydney Test, was a relieved man and savouring the dramatic 36-run win over Pakistan.
Ponting has been criticised fiercely for his captaincy and decision to bat first on a green Sydney wicket.
He revealed he had used a barrage of criticism over his controversial decision at the toss as a motivating force. "It comes down to results and we've got a great result here, so I look like a genius where I didn't a couple of days ago," Ponting said last night.
"I don't think anyone in the world, other than the blokes inside our dressing room, thought we could win. What we've read over the last couple of days and what we've heard and seen on the news has probably just steeled us all a little bit," the Daily Telegraph quoted Ponting, as saying.
"It made us want to fight the game out as much as we can and prove that we are never out of the contest. The character that has been shown over the last couple of days has been terrific and I'm really proud of the guys for doing what they've done," he said.
However, he was convinced Pakistan were susceptible to a final-innings collapse. And after bowling Pakistan out for 139 to taste a famous victory, he revealed he would now be unlikely to ever consider bowling first - even on the world's greenest pitch.
"Being a top-order batter the easy thing for me to do the other day would have been to bowl first. But I'm trying to do the right thing all the time by the team," Ponting said.
After wrapping up the series 2-0 before heading to Hobart for the final Test next week, Ponting was a delighted man. He conceded he needed to improve his own batting after twin failures in Sydney continued a poor summer where he has averaged just 27.
His elbow injury is clearly troubling him but he refused to use it as an excuse.
Ponting was full of admiration for Mike Hussey, whose unbeaten 134 and 123-run ninth wicket partnership with Peter Siddle turned the Test Australia's way. (ANI)