Former Australian captain Ian Chappell feels injured Ricky Ponting should not have been allowed in the Aussie dressing room after it was announced that he was out of the team for the fifth and final Ashes Test and would undergo a surgery for the broken finger.
"I think there should be someone in the Australian set-up who says, `Look Ricky, you`re not captain in this game. Michael Clarke is captain`," former cricketer told `Sydney Morning Herald`.
"I think it would have been better if Ricky had been away from the team and just left it to Michael Clarke. It`s not Michael Clarke`s team as yet but I just think it would have been much fairer to Michael Clarke if Ricky Ponting hadn`t been around," said Chappell, who had earlier insisted that Ponting has crossed his use-by-date.
Ponting was yesterday seen talking to the rookie Usman Khawaja in the dressing room before the Pakistani born left-hander went out to bat to make his international debut.
Clarke, who had said that he will be the boss on-field, however, had asked Ponting to be around the team for the Sydney Test match.
Earlier, Australian skipper after further consultations, decided that surgery was necessary on his broken little finger on his left hand if he was to recover on time for the World Cup.
The right-handed batsman, however, remained confident that he will be fit for the mega-event to be held from February 19 in the sub-continent.
Casting doubt on Ponting`s return as the Test captain, Chappell told the newspaper, "(It`s) unrealistic to talk about going on as the Australian captain. As far as I`m concerned, that was his last Test in Melbourne as Australian captain and it`s time to move in a new direction, and you don`t move in a new direction with the team and keep the old captain."
Ponting, who has been out of form for quite some time now, had earlier expressed his desire to captain the Test team despite earning a dubious distinction of being the first Australian skipper in more than a century to lose the Ashes three times.