Adam Gilchrist\’s long farewell to Australian cricket ended one game early after India held their nerve to secure a 2-0 series win in the Commonwealth Bank final in Brisbane.
The hosts\’ nine-run loss, which followed India\’s six-wicket win in game one, marked the end of the international careers of 36-year-old Gilchrist and left-arm spinner Brad Hogg, 37.
The performances of young Indians such as Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar have lit up the CB Series, and Australia captain Ricky Ponting hinted in the wake of the defeat that his side could learn from India\’s approach.
"They went with a youth policy for this one-day tour and brought some of the younger players in," he said.
"The younger players that have arrived have added some energy to their group which is what you need playing one-day cricket, there\’s no doubt about that.
"What they\’ve done probably gives us something to look at down the track."
But Ponting dismissed suggestions that Australia\’s ageing side is on the wane.
Only three of the team that played at the Gabba on Tuesday were under 30 – Michael Clarke, Mitchell Johnson and James Hopes – but Ponting insisted that the age of his squad had no bearing on the outcome of the match.
"I\’m not sure if age ever brings you back to the pack," he said. "Skills are what bring you back to the pack.
"A lot of our more senior players have still got all the skills that are required to be very good one-day players for Australia.
"It\’s inevitable that there will be some changeover and hopefully when these next couple of new faces come in we can start playing some good cricket again."
Teenage paceman Ishant, sidelined with a bruised finger, missed the Indian celebrations at the Gabba but Kumar adequately filled the breach.
The 21-year-old medium pacer turned in a man-of-the-match performance as he claimed the scalps of key trio Gilchrist, Ponting and Clarke on his way to career-best figures of four for 46.
And India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was keen to point out that his side\’s victory had been made possible not by Australia\’s frailties, but by India\’s strengths.
"It\’s not about the old Aussie team it\’s more about the young Indian side," Dhoni said.
"This series win will give them ample confidence and the assurances they need that they are part of the team.
"Ultimately this will be the core of the team."
Ponting added he was saddened at losing Gilchrist and Hogg from the one-day set-up, but said they would send the pair off in style – albeit 72 hours earlier than hoped.
"We obviously hadn\’t made any plans because we were planning on going to Adelaide (for game three) and being able to celebrate down there," said Ponting.
"No doubt we\’ll have a reasonably long night tonight and get on the plane