Sydney, Dec 28: Cricket Australia (CA) Chief Executive James Sutherland has said that the board was not discussing the issue of Ricky Ponting's captaincy, but admitted that it was important to have a succession plan in place.
Sutherland had earlier said that he would be happy to rubber stamp any recommendation from selectors for Michael Clarke to lead after Ponting. However, he has now admitted that the vice-captain's form slump needed to be rectified.
"That's the most important thing, and the best thing Michael Clarke can do at the moment is make some more runs than he's doing [currently]," the Age quoted Sutherland, as saying.
Clarke has scored just 148 runs in the ongoing series at an average of 21.14 - a far cry from last year's Ashes where he was Australia's leading scorer with 448 at an average of 64.
Sutherland's comment comes after former captain Steve Waugh discussed the possibility of including two wicketkeeper-batsmen in the Australia team with a view towards grooming either Brad Haddin or Tim Paine as future Test captains.
Haddin has captained New South Wales and also led Australia in two Twenty20 matches, while Tasmania wicketkeeper Paine will lead the Prime Minister's XI against England at Canberra's Manuka Oval on January 10.
Paine has also been exceptional since making his Test debut earlier this year, averaging 36 in four Tests against Pakistan and India.
"I think they're both skillful enough with the bat and they're both very good keepers. Perhaps one of those guys may come through and be a captain at some stage as well," Waugh had said.
"I always believe there's three or four players in the side who can captain the team, but probably haven't revealed those skills because they haven't had the chance. I think if you give players a chance, sometimes they'll come through," he added.