Melbourne - Michael Clarke is happy as stand-in captain while Ricky Ponting's broken finger heals, but he's vowed never to lead a side with Ponting in the starting XI.
Clarke, the usual vice captain, will captain Australia for the first time to start a Test when he leads Australia against England in the fifth Ashes test beginning Monday in Sydney.
England has retained the Ashes and leads the series 2-1, marking the third time that Ponting has lost an Ashes series as captain.
Clarke, asked if he would captain an Australian Test side with Ponting in it if asked by selectors, said: "No. I've always said from day one Ricky Ponting is my leader, my captain, and I'm certain he'll be back captaining ASAP."