“Sachin Tendulkar played a mighty innings. It was a knock which could have taken the game away from us. That is why his dismissal was the turning point in our victory today,” said Australian captain Ricky Ponting after his team won the fifth one-dayer here on Thursday.

“Definitely, when Sachin was batting we thought the game was slipping away. But credit should be given to our bowlers, especially the young guys for responding so well in the slog overs. Doug Bollinger was truly special,” Ponting said.

“Yes, it was certainly difficult to defend even 350 on this pitch. But I believe that we always thought that our all-round game was much better,” the victorious captain said.

Terrific innings

“I think Shaun Marsh played one of the best one-day innings I have seen in India after Shane Watson took the fight to the Indian bowlers,” Ponting said.

“This win should do a world of good to the young guys who were apparently playing under a lot of pressure in such demanding conditions,” he said. “Definitely, it is a great feeling to lead the series, especially after what I feel was reduced to a three-match series (before this contest),” he said.

Indian captain M.S. Dhoni said: “The players seemed to be just going through the motions in the given situation. Probably, they tried to change gears from first to sixth, when cricketing discipline would have worked better,” he said.

“But I don’t think losing such close games is a reflection of lack of team spirit. In contrast, they actually do a lot of good to the team for they can believe they can chase such big scores,” he said.

Special innings

“It is sad that we lost this game after such a special innings from Sachin. I have always been a big fan of his ‘Desert Storm’ (against Australia in Sharjah some years ago),” he said.

“We all wanted to score the winning run after such a brilliant effort from Sachin, who single-handedly brought us back into the game,” he said.

“Definitely, the bowlers could have done better. Maybe experience would have counted under these conditions,” he felt.

More In: Sport | Cricket