Melbourne:Ricky Ponting's retirement in the next few years will have a similar "dramatic" impact on the Australian cricket which was witnessed after spin legend Shane Warne's retreat, feels chief selector Andrew Hilditch.
Hailing Ponting's "exceptional" leadership qualities, the National Selection Panel Chairman said it will be extremely difficult for anyone to fit into the shoes of Ponting.
"When we lose Ricky Ponting it will be as dramatic an impact as Shane Warne. Ricky's shoes are massive shoes to fill. He has been a really strong man, really positive around the group," Hilditch said.
"You can talk tactics all you want but in the end the captain is the person who has got to mould the side and make it a winning team. Ricky has done that exceptionally well," he was quoted as saying by the 'Courier Mail'.
Australia have been struggling to find a class spinner ever since Warne hung his boot in 2006. From Stuart McGill to Nathan Haurtiz they have tried a number of tweakers but no one has looked like even a shadow of Warne.
Hilditch said Michael Clarke's elevation as the skipper of the national Twenty20 team will help them assess his leadership skills.