Ponting wants to be only a caretaker

Sydney: Ricky Ponting, who is all set to lead Australia in tomorrow`s one-dayer against Sri Lanka here in the absence of regular skipper Michael Clarke, insisted that he is stepping in only as a caretaker.

"I want to make it very clear this is Michael Clarke`s team that I`m just stepping up to look after for a couple of days," said Ponting.

"Everyone knows my appointment`s been made for hopefully only Friday. Hopefully Michael comes up for Sunday`s game (in Brisbane), so really this is just about taking over Michael`s team and leading the team well and hopefully getting the result the team`s after," he added.

Although excited about leading the team again, Ponting insisted: "Hopefully it`s only for a very short period of time."

Ponting also admitted he long and hard before taking the job back given Warner had been appointed vice-captain of the team.

"I did have a think about it and I had a good chat to (chairman of selectors) John Inverarity about that and what some of my concerns were around that.”

"But I decided to do what they wanted me to do and what I felt was probably right for the team right at the moment," Ponting told reporters.

"We`ve got a few of our experienced guys out on the sidelines at the moment, and I know Dave Warner had been named vice-captain at the start of the one-day series and the selectors made it very clear why they haven`t given him the captaincy for this game," he added.

Meanwhile, the Australian team shot down reports of David Warner suffering a serious injury at training with the physio clarifying that he had suffered a bruise from a ball while training but is fine to play tomorrow.

Ponting said he was keen to mentor 25-year-old Warner, who is still finding his way on the international stage.

"That`s a big part of what I`ve got to do this week. When I was captain I asked the opinions of the players out on the field at different times in the game and for Friday`s game it`ll be Davey that I`ll be going to a lot to let him know what my ideas are and what we`re trying to achieve and also try to get some ideas out of him as to where he sees the game at any particular time," said Ponting.

Ponting said that he has also been in touch with Clarke despite his absence with a hamstring strain.

"I`ve been chasing little things he might want to gain out of this week, things like who he wants to field in the slips and who he wants to bowl at certain times," revealed Ponting.

"It`s not about me coming in and taking over the ship, it`s about me doing what Michael wants this team to do and achieve."

Meanwhile, Ponting felt that wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, who has been left out of the one-dayers, has been kept in the loop by the selectors about where he stands.

"I think he actually has been given that, face-to-face. That`s my understanding of it all," said Ponting.

"He`s been told, his position has been rock solid all the way through. He hasn`t changed anything. What he had to say when he was left out of the first game is exactly what he`s saying now," he added.

Questions are being raised about the communication between John Inverarity`s panel and members of the national team over the implementation of its controversial rotation policy and the international future of besieged gloveman Haddin.

Ricky Ponting said that the team management has not decided on the playing XI for tomorrow`s one-dayer as pacer Brett Lee is yet to prove his fitness.

The veteran fast bowler is returning to the side after breaking a toe during the second Twenty20 game against India in Melbourne earlier this month. But with his return coming a few weeks ahead of schedule, Ponting said that no decision would be taken until tomorrow morning.

"He had a run yesterday and his toe pulled up particularly well," said Ponting about Lee.

"He`s got a lot of bowling to get through today and we`ll see how he pulls up tomorrow morning so we won`t be able to finalise our team until the toss tomorrow. Fingers crossed for Brett that he comes up well," he added.