Darren Lehmann's torn hamstring spared a tough call in Mumbai and he is again fighting for a place with Michael Clarke, who averaged 57 in his first series, and Simon Katich for the first Test, starting at Brisbane next Thursday.
"I know Darren Lehmann still has a lot of good Test cricket left in him but when someone like Michael performs as well as he did on the last tour he looks to be the future of Australian cricket," Ponting told reporters. "It's going to be very hard for the selectors."
Ponting, who missed the first three Tests with a broken thumb, said he hoped Australia would play another series in India before 2010, when the next one is scheduled. "The most disappointing thing for me when I got injured at the start of this tour was that I had a very poor time last time. I'm sure that I have some very unfinished business in India."
He added that he was confident that Shane Warne would be fit to face New Zealand. "It seems he's pretty likely to come up for the Brisbane Test. He believed that in 10 to 14 days, he should be right."
And after calling for an ICC inquiry into the state of the pitch for the fourth Test at Mumbai, Ponting was still critical of the wicket. "To have the whole series ruined by a very poor surface in the last Test was very disappointing for all the players and spectators."