Australia can't drop Ricky Ponting as the skipper unless he is dropped from the team, a noted cricket columnist has said.
There has been talk about sacking Ponting as captain following Australia's 2-0 defeat against India to lose the 'Border Gavaskar Trophy.
Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, Jamie Pandaram said: "He is the strongest character in the team by far, he cannot be captained by someone else - imagine what that would do to the dynamic of the dressing room? Pakistan know all about it, ask them."
"Ponting certainly could not be outed on form, he was Australia's best batsman in India.
And to appoint Michael Clarke now would be unfair, he is struggling with the bat and he does not want the role while Ponting is around. Who else is there, who could order Ponting around, tell him to bugger off while bowling tactics are discussed?"
He further acknowledged that though Ponting has made errors on the field, it was not the reason behind Australia's fifth ranking in Tests.
"In the last few years, Australia's middle order has wilted in the heat and their bowling attack cannot rip through a tail like their predecessors," Pandaram wrote.
"Should he become the first Australian captain to lose three Ashes series, Ponting's own intuition might tell him he's done," he added.