Melbourne, Dec 16: Ricky Ponting has said he may have to step down as Australian skipper if the Ashes series is lost.
Defeat in Perth, would force Ponting and selectors to face the question of his captaincy head-on, but it is doubtful the selectors would replace Ponting as skipper mid-way through the series even if England goes 2-0 up, The Age reports.
Michael Clarke would presumably take over unless he did not want to captain with Ponting in the side. Ponting admitted if the series is lost in Perth, the decision on whether he keeps the Australian captaincy is out of his hands.
"It's probably not a decision for me to make, is it? I don't pick myself as captain so, look, in all honesty I haven't thought about that at all," he said.
"The decision is completely out of my hands. At the end of the day I'll do my best to make sure we're on a winning end this week and I'll do my best as a player to make sure I score runs and lead the team the best way possible, and then the powers that be will make those decisions, I guess, at the end of the series, or after this Test match," he said.
Ponting defended the selectors for their chop-and-change approach on spinners, following the dumping of Xavier Doherty after two Tests.
"Being a selector of any team, I think, is a pretty thankless job. If you pick a team and it wins you don't get any credit for it, but if you pick a team and it loses, you are the worst in the world," Ponting said. So I think that's where our selectors have been of late. They're doing their best for Australian cricket to pick the best XI players they possibly can."