Mumbai, (PTI): Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the Indian team had proved that their Twenty20 World Cup victory was not a fluke as they mauled Australia by seven wickets in the one-off Twenty20 international here on Saturday.
"It (victory) means a lot. We wanted to prove that World Cup victory (in South Africa) was not a fluke," he said after the match.
Dhoni said that team wanted to enjoy and play with intensity.
"We wanted to enjoy. The benchmark was to play with intensity and to put up a good fielding and bowling performance," he said.
The Indian captain also hailed opener, Gautam Gambhir, for his splendid show with the bat.
"Gautan played excellently. The way he batted was amazing. He was out of the team beacuse of injury and made a good comeback. I hope he bats the same in the Pakistan series," he said.
'Man of the match', Gambhir, said he was keen to carry on his good form in the one-day format.
"I think it (Twenty20) is working for me. I am playing well, and I want to continue (with this form) in 50-50," said the Delhi batsman.
Australian captain, Ricky Ponting, said India deserved the victory.
"I think their spinners bowled well in the middle and we did not get enough runs.
While bowling, we gave away no balls and they scored off those free-hits. They deserved the victory today. I guess they are not world champions in this format for nothing," Ponting said.
However, he said his team can go back home with heads held high after sealing the one-day series.
"We played well overall and won the one-day series, which is not easy in India. We can go back happy."
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India thrash Australia to underline Twenty 20 dominance
Sunday October 21 2007 10:50 IST
MUMBAI: India reaffirmed their status as world champions by spanking Australia by seven wickets in a one-off Twenty20 international here on Saturday night, riding on Gautam Gambhir's blistering strokeplay.
The Indians first restricted Australia to 166 for five and then rattled up the required runs with 11 balls to spare in a thrilling flood-lit contest at the Brabourne Stadium.
The left-handed Gambhir (63 off 52 balls) was the star performer as he not only notched up his fourth Twenty20 half-century but laid the foundation with a 82-run second wicket partnership with Robin Uthappa (35 off 26 balls).
The capacity crowd at the stadium, already in a festive mood on the eve of Dusshera, burst into celebration as captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's hit the winning runs by clobbering Brett Lee for a mighty six.
It was an awesome batting display by the hosts in their first ever Twenty20 international on home soil as they completely tore apart the Australian bowling attack with their lusty hitting.
The skies lit up with dazzling fireworks providing the perfect finish to the absorbing contest which also saw useful contributions by Yuvraj Singh (31 in 25 balls) and Harbhajan Singh, who conceded only 17 runs in his four overs.
Ricky Ponting's men did not help their own cause as they helped the Indians with front foot no-balls giving the batsmen free hits.
Also, overthrows and inaccurate bowling added to the Indian score.
Earlier, Ricky Ponting played a splendid captain's knock of 76 in 53 balls to power Australia to 166 for five.
Ponting, after winning the toss, showed terrific touch with flowing drives and struck 13 fours even as the other batsmen looked less than fluent.
The Tasmanian also raised two important stands for the second and third wickets with Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds, and was instrumental in his team setting the hosts an asking rate of 8.85.
Australia made a flying start when Adam Gilchrist slammed Rudra Pratap Singh for three boundaries in the opening over before the left-arm pacer got his revenge by having the opener bowled middle stump with a superb yorker.
Ponting stepped into the breach and dominated the second wicket stand with Hayden who returned to the team after missing the last two ODIs but was not his fluent self.
Hayden still managed to heave S Sreesanth over mid-wicket for a huge six and then lofted R P Singh over long off for another during his 17-ball stay before dragging Harbhajan Singh on to the stumps in the off-spinner's opening over.
The burly left-hander, having recovered from a hip injury, added 48 runs in 6.1 overs for the second wicket with Ponting who started by crashing first-change Irfan Pathan for four boundaries in his first over.
The visitors' run-rate climbed in the fifth over to over eight at the half-way stage despite the loss of Hayden.
Ponting reached his 50 with a lucky edge past captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in 33 balls.
THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS