Ricky Ponting is to succeed Steve Waugh as Australia's Test captain.
PONTING'S TEST RECORD
5,115 runs, average 52.73
18 centuries, highest score 206
Cricket Australia announced that Ponting, the current one-day captain, would take charge of the national side after Waugh's retirement in January.
"Given the strong public interest in the issue, we thought it would be prudent to avoid any unnecessary speculation and distraction throughout the summer," said Cricket Australia chairman Bob Merriman.
"Ricky has proven to be an outstanding international captain and leader of men. His record leading up to and through this year's ICC World Cup, in the West Indies and in recent weeks in India speaks for itself."
Waugh announced on Wednesday that he was planning to quit international cricket after the series against India ends in January.
He nominated Ponting, who is already captain of the World Cup winning one-day team, as his natural successor.
"The one-day captaincy has given me a valuable insight into the characteristics required to be a successful leader and I am confident I can transfer these skills across to the Test arena," said Ponting.
"I've learnt a lot about leadership having played under Stephen for many years now and I feel well equipped to take on what is undoubtedly one of the highest honours in Australian sport."
Ponting paid tribute to Waugh, who is the most successful captain in the history of Test cricket with 40 wins in 53 matches.
"He's a true legend of the game," said Ponting.
"It's important to remember that the approaching summer is about celebrating Stephen Waugh and everything he has contributed to cricket in Australia and around the world.
"I look forward to being the best vice-captain I can be throughout the next four Tests.
"I'd like to encourage cricket fans around the country to get out to the Test matches this summer and give Stephen the farewell he deserves."