Ponting to lead PM's XI

Former Test skipper Ricky Ponting will captain the Prime Minister's XI in their clash with the West Indies in January.

Ponting is under pressure to hold his spot in Michael Clarke's Test side after struggling for runs in the first two Tests against South Africa, casting doubt over his international future.

His latest role is one that has been held by some distinguished Australian players in the past, including Sir Donald Bradman, Steve Waugh and Mark Taylor.

"It's a big honour for me to be selected as captain of the Prime Ministers XI," Ponting said in a statement on Tuesday.

"It will be an exciting team of emerging cricketers and I'm looking forward to leading them against the West Indies on January 29."

The annual fixture will be play under lights for the first time, with the remainder of the side to be named in January.