Mumbai, Apr 17: India pose a serious threat to Australia's test cricket supremacy, Australian captain Ricky Ponting said on Wednesday.
Australia have dominated the test championship race, finishing top of the 12-month cycle ending on March 31 for the fourth year in succession, but Ponting said the way the new cycle pans out will depend on the younger members of his team.
"India certainly have a great team together at the moment and South Africa have played excellent cricket for a number of years in both forms of the game," he told a news conference.
"So we just have to wait and see," he said after collecting the ICC Mace, the test championship trophy, at a function in Mumbai.
India, who lost an acrimonious recent test series 2-1 in Australia, finished second in the test rankings after squaring a home series with South Africa at the weekend.
"Hopefully over the next 12 months the younger guys that we bring into the (Australian) national team will stand up and perform," Ponting said.
"If they can do that and the older guys like me, Matty (Matthew) Hayden and the other guys keep pulling our weight we can hopefully remain number one."
Australia have lost top players Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer, who all retired early last year, and wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist, who quit after the series against India.
"There were a lot of question marks around the team at the start of the last Australian summer, losing the...great players that we lost," Ponting said.
"But I thought some of the younger guys who came into the side like Phil Jacques and Mitchell Johnson handled themselves really well at the international level."