x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Ponting looking to the World Cup

Australia are gearing up to defend their World Cup crown in 2011, after beating India in Guwahati yesterday to secure the one-day international series.

Australia are gearing up to defend their World Cup crown in 2011, after beating India in Guwahati yesterday to secure the one-day international series. "It's probably one of the best one-day series I have ever been involved in what with all the injuries and setbacks at the start of this tour," the Australian captain Ricky Ponting said.

"For the boys to stick together as a group and play as team of 11 players for the last few games has been very satisfying. "India is a hard place to come and win and this victory means a lot, especially when you haven't got all your players to pick from. "With each game that we have played, we have just gotten better and better so its really good signs for the team. "Some of the younger guys have come into the team and have got a few games under their belt.

"They have been building experience towards the World Cup in 2011 and I think they will have learned a lot from this tour." The Australian fast bowler Doug Bollinger had a five-wicket haul and Mitchell Johnson claimed three scalps as the visitors bowled India out for a paltry 170 in the sixth match of the series. Shane Watson then struck a run-a-ball 49 as Australia wrapped up victory with just over eight overs to spare to take an unassailable 4-2 lead ahead of the final match in Mumbai on Wednesday.

The victory in Guwahati was Australia's third in a row and came on the heels of close contests in Mohali and Hyderabad. The India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted the loss of early wickets had ruined his team's chances as they never recovered from falling to 27 for five as Bollinger raced through their top order on his way to five for 25. Lower-order knocks from Ravindra Jadeja (57) and Praveen Kumar did give the innings some stability as they were eventually dismissed for 170.

"At the toss, I believed the first half hour would be crucial, but as it turned out 15 minutes was all that was needed," Dhoni said. "We were never in the game after we lost those wickets in the morning and we were fortunate to reach 170. "I think they bowled really well and although we could have batted second we would have been facing their spinners on a wearing pitch. "We made a few mistakes and ended up losing matches which should have won."

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