'This win is a massive positive after ups and downs of the last 18 months'
Defending champions Australia steered to a six-wicket win over New Zealand in the Champions Trophy final on Monday.
The Australian captain Ricky Ponting was palpably excited at his team's latest success.
"I'm ecstatic to win a tournament as big as this one, it's the second biggest one, there's nothing else outside the World Cup," he said.
"It's a very special achievement and a massive positive after the ups and downs of the last 18 months," he added.
Image: Team Australia celebrates winning ICC Champions Trophy final cricket match beating New Zealand in Pretoria
'When the so-called big names don't stand up, others get the job done'
The Australian captain said the performance of the younger players in the rarefied atmosphere of a major final had been especially pleasing.
"To see youngsters like Shane and Cameron White stand up tonight and get us across the line was very satisfying.
"I think it's one of our strengths that when the so-called big names don't stand up, others get up and do the job. The young guys are starting to make major impacts in world events," Ponting said.
Ponting won the Golden Bat award for leading run scorer (288 runs) besides being adjudged the Player of the Tournament.
Image: Australia celebrates winning the ICC Champions Trophy final
'People have started to see the real Shane Watson'
Ponting had special praise reserved for Shane Watson's coolness after the all-rounder's seconds successive century.
Watson hit an unbeaten 129-ball 105 (10X4, 4X6) and starred in a 128-run stand with Cameron White (62) under tremendous pressure
"I think people have started to see the real Shane Watson in the last couple of matches," said Ponting.
"Now that he's back to full fitness, he's showing everybody how good he can be.
"He bowled terrifically against England and then went out and scored 130-odd, but you can't get much tougher than tonight's situation," added the captain.
Image: Shane Watson exults after hitting the winning runs
Losing Vettori was a huge blow for New Zealand
New Zealand were left in disarray when captain Daniel Vettori was ruled out of the final by a hamstring injury.
"Losing Dan was a huge blow because he's been instrumental with bat, ball and with his captaincy," stand-in skipper Brendon McCullum said.
"He's been huge not just in terms of his performance but also the way he has inspired us."
Image: Members of the Australian cricket team celebrates victory in the ICC Champions Trophy after defeating New Zealand
'We believed we could win but were probably 50 runs short'
McCullum said the Kiwis believed they could still win the match when they claimed the two early Australian wickets, including that of Ponting for a single, and restricted them to 37 for two after 16 overs.
"After those two quick wickets, we believed we could win and we were pretty pumped up. But we were probably 50 runs short."
New Zealand also suffered a crucial fielding hiccup in the 18th over when McCullum dropped a skied pull by White off Ian Butler. White had 15 at the time and went on to score 62 in a match-winning third-wicket stand of 128.
"It was obviously a crucial miss and unfortunately I was responsible for it. I didn't ever get set underneath it and in the end I was lucky to even get a hand on it," McCullum said.
Image: The Australian cricket team celebrates their victory