Sydney: Steve Waugh has questioned recalling Ricky Ponting as captain of the Australian one-day team in the absence of the injured Michael Clarke, reflecting widespread confusion in the country about the role of the vice-captain.
Ponting, who stood down as test and one-day captain after the World Cup last year, will lead Australia in their one-day triangular series match against Sri Lanka on Friday after his successor Clarke suffered a mild hamstring strain.
Opening batsman David Warner was vice-captain of the side but chief selector John Inverarity said they were keen not to put much pressure on the 25-year-old, while there was no mention at all of test vice-captain Brad Haddin.
"Ricky will do it blindfolded but the future is probably Dave Warner, so I'm surprised they didn't go to Warner and go to the future," said Waugh, who captained Australia in one-dayers and tests from 1999 to 2004.
"It's only a temporary thing but you put Dave Warner in there as vice-captain so I assume they think he is leadership material.
"If he's vice-captain, why can't he captain the side as well? Maybe they think Dave's not quite ready but why is he vice-captain?"Back to the future as Ponting named Australia captain
"It doesn't make sense to me."
Waugh played a part in Australian cricket's Argus review, which was undertaken in the wake of the humiliating Ashes defeat around the turn of last year.
One of the review's recommendations was that the captain should seek and use the counsel of his vice-captain, which, it said, was an important role and should be more clearly defined.
Wicketkeeper Haddin was vice-captain under Clarke during the 4-0 series sweep of India around the turn of the year.
The 34-year-old was described as "rested" for the first three matches of the triangular series, which also includes India, but with typical candour preferred to describe himself as having been dropped.
"If he's rested, why doesn't he come back in and be the captain?" Waugh asked reporters.
"He's vice-captain of the test side so there was an opportunity for Brad to be captain of the one-day team.
"Obviously he is having an enforced rest. I'm not sure what it is. It's a bit confusing and it'd be good for someone to clear it up."
Another test vice-captain, allrounder Shane Watson, is still on the comeback trail after injuries sustained last year in South Africa.