12 Mar 2009

Ponting praises team after series win

7:45 am on 12 March 2009

The Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting says he's delighted with how his new look team continues to perform and grow.

The Australians have taken an unassailable two-nil Test series lead against South Africa, after beating the hosts by 175 runs in Durban.

The series win sees Australia retain their number one ranking and, for now, silence the critics, who questioned Australia's dominance after they were soundly beaten by South Africa earlier this year.

Ricky Ponting says it's a unique phase of his career and he's proud all the young guys who've come in during this transition period have stupped up.

Meanwhile, the South African captain Graeme Smith says his side hasn't played to the standards they set in the series win over Australia in Australia earlier this year.

Graeme Smith has been ruled out of the third and final Test in Cape Town with injury.

South African selectors have also dumped opener Neil McKenzie and paceman Morne Morkel for the final Test.