Ricky Ponting believes that losing the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy will hurt Australia even more than their loss at home two years ago. That is because this time the hosts were at near-full strength while Team India missed a plethora of first-team players.
India remain the only team from Asia to win a Test series Down Under and now they have done it twice.
Ricky Ponting felt that even a drawn series would have been a worse result than the previous loss at home. The former Australian captain told NZ Herald in this regard:
"You can't speak highly enough of India, it is as simple as that. I said yesterday on air, it looked like this game might be a draw, and even if it was a draw, that would be a worse result for Australia than when they lost (the home series) two years ago.
"We all sat back and said India got us when we were at our weakest without David Warner and Steve Smith there. But guess what, David Warner and Smith have been here (this time), our entire bowling brigade has been here, and India have been the exact opposite. It (the loss) will hurt, it will dig really deep," Ponting added.
India won the 2018-19 Border Gavaskar Trophy series 2-1. However, many experts felt the result could have been different if Australia had their two best batsmen - David Warner and Steve Smith - available.
In a role reversal of sorts, this time India did not have a lot of their top players. But they still managed to come up trumps against a full-strength Australia.
Ricky Ponting had predicted a whitewash for Team India after the first Test
After the first Test in Adelaide, where Team India were bowled out for a paltry 36, Ricky Ponting had claimed that the visitors would suffer a whitewash.
"Now there's some serious wounds opening up. There could be a good chance (of a clean sweep). Let's hope we do get a result in Melbourne, and if we do, I think India's going to find it really hard to bounce back and win a game," Ponting had told cricket.com.au.
Team India proved him wrong by creating history at the Gabba, where Australia hadn't lost a Test in 32 years.
The visitors now also hold the record for the highest successful run chase in Brisbane, beating the previous record (236 against West Indies in 1951) held by Australia.