Adelaide: Former Australian captain Steve Waugh on Tuesday criticised the national selectors for preferring the experienced Ricky Ponting over batting sensation David Warner to lead the side in the absence of an injured Michael Clarke, in Friday's tri-series match against Sri Lanka at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Ponting became the first Australian captain in nearly 29 years to regain the reins after stepping down as skipper.
Warner has been named vice-captain by the National Selection Panel (NSP) due to the continuing absence of allrounder Shane Watson due to injury.
"If David Warner is in there as vice-captain I assume they think he's leadership material, and if he's vice-captain why can't he captain the side as well?" said Waugh.
"Ricky will do it blindfolded but the future is probably David Warner, so I'm surprised they didn't go to Warner. Maybe they think Dave is not quite ready - but then why is he vice-captain?" Waugh was quoted as saying by the 'Sydney Morning Herald'.
The decision by John Inverarity's selection panel came more than 10 months after Ponting stood down as skipper following Australia's exit from the World Cup last year.
Warner has been Clarke's deputy during the tri-series in the absence of regular vice-captain Watson and out-of-favour Brad Haddin.
Waugh also expressed surprise at the omission of wicketkeeper Brad Haddin who, according to the National Selection Panel, had been rested for the ongoing tri-series following his indifferent form in the Test series against India, which the hosts won 4-0.
Haddin remained on the outer with selectors, at least for the one-day internationals, after Matthew Wade was retained as wicketkeeper following his outstanding recent form.
"I was surprised when they said he was rested, he basically said he was dropped. There's mixed messages there.
If he's rested, why doesn't he come back in and be the captain?," he said.
"He's the vice-captain of the Test side, so there was the opportunity for maybe Brad to captain the one-day team.
But obviously he's having an enforced rest. I'm not sure what it is, but it's a bit confusing," said Waugh.