India's cricket selectors were undecided on Tuesday whether to offer the Test captaincy to youthful one-day skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni or go back to ageing senior pro Sachin Tendulkar.
"We have not made up our minds, nothing is final yet," one of the five selectors told AFP following a media report that Tendulkar had rejected the post.
The selection committee is scheduled to meet in Mohali on Thursday to pick a successor to Rahul Dravid, who unexpectedly stepped down in September for unspecified reasons.
Dhoni, 26, led a young Indian team -- missing Dravid, Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly -- to victory in the inaugural world Twenty20 championships in South Africa.
The popular wicketkeeper-batsman was also named one-day captain, but the experienced Tendulkar, 34, had been widely tipped to take over the Test role for the upcoming series against Pakistan and Australia.
India hosts Pakistan for three Tests starting later this month and plays four Tests in Australia from December before another home series against South Africa in March.
Tendulkar served two stints as captain between 1996 and 2000 before he voluntarily quit in March 2000 saying he wanted to concentrate on his batting.
Under him, India won four of 25 Tests with nine losses and 13 draws.
The Kolkata-based Telegraph newspaper on Tuesday quoted unnamed cricket board sources as saying that Tendulkar had declined to become captain and the selectors were set to pick Dhoni for the Tests.
"My understanding is that Sachin is not keen and has made that known to some people," the source was quoted as saying by the paper.
"So Dhoni looks the favourite. It's a plus that he is already the one-day and Twenty20 captain."
Dhoni has played 20 Tests since his first appearance in December 2005, scoring 1,019 runs at 36.39 with one century.
Tendulkar, a 17-year veteran at the highest level, has 11,150 runs in 140 Tests at 54.92 with a world record 37 centuries.
Former Australian captain Greg Chappell, who quit as India's coach in April, said Dhoni may be too inexperienced for the Test captaincy.
"He (Dhoni) is doing his apprenticeship in the limited-over forms of the game," Chappell told Times Now news channel on Tuesday. "Probably another 12 months or more I think before he is perhaps ready for all three of them.
"A tour of Australia behind him will just finish him off nicely as a cricketer and as a potential leader," he said.
India has not selected Chappell's replacement and has temporarily given the coaching job to former first-class batsman Lalchand Rajput.