Melbourne: Australian selector Greg Chappell has said that Ricky Ponting must remain Test captain because there are no obvious successors at present.
In an interview that would completely change the landscape of Australian cricket, Chappell believes Clarke is still captaincy material, but his form has become a serious impediment to his leadership aspirations.
“If we’re going to replace Ricky, we’ve got to make sure we’ve got someone that we’re confident has the right frame of mind who can take over and do a good job,” the Daily Telegraph quoted Chappell, as saying.
“And I don’t know that we’ve got somebody that we feel we want to rush Ricky Ponting out the door at this moment. There is nobody absolutely ready for it. I don’t think there are too many other players I’d want to put that pressure on,” he said
Last week, Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland had said Clarke still had support in the corridors of power.
But Clarke’s chances of becoming Test captain officially went down after Chappell’s admission that the four-man panel he shares with Andrew Hilditch, David Boon and Jamie Cox had lost faith in his leadership skills.
Chappell admitted his desire for Ponting to continue in the job for years.
Clarke will be too old to take over if Ponting succeeds in his desire to continue as captain up until the 2013 Ashes series.
“I would love Ricky Ponting to be there for the next couple of years as we bring other batters through, he’s a good leader. You’d have to think very long and hard before you got rid of that resource,” Chappell said.
Asked if he would consider allowing Ponting to stand down, Chappell said: “He might consider it but I would certainly be counselling him against that.”