Former Australian captain Ian Chappell has said injured skipper Ricky Ponting should not have been in Australia's dressing room during the first day's play against England at the SCG.
"I think there should be someone in the Australian set-up who says, 'Look Ricky, you're not captain in this game. Michael Clarke is captain','' Chappell told Fairfax Radio.
"I think it would have been better if Ricky had been away from the team and just left it to Michael Clarke. It's not Michael Clarke's team as yet, but I just think, it would have been much fairer to Clarke if Ponting hadn't been around," Chappell added.
Chappell also believes Ponting will not return as Test skipper. "He's being unrealistic to talk about going on as the Australian captain. As far as I'm concerned, that was his last Test in Melbourne as Australian captain and it's time to move in a new direction, and you don't move in a new direction with the team and keep the old captain," Chappell said.
Ponting had decided to keep his finger in a splint and attempt to let it heal naturally, but after further consultations decided surgery was necessary if he was to recover in time for the World Cup that is to be played in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
He had been involved in Australia's Test preparations and was asked by Clarke to be around the team for this match.
Clarke said on match eve that he was glad to have Ponting present, although he affirmed that he would make all on-field decisions.