Adelaide, Jan.25: Australia"s full-time selector Greg Chappell has guaranteed vice-captain Michael Clarke's spot in the national squad until after the World Cup that is being played in the Indian subcontinent, despite the latter struggling both on and off the field.
Clarke, 29, has contributed a solitary half-century in 12 test and one-day digs this summer and became embroiled in another Twitter storm yesterday.
Citing the pre-Ashes faith in veteran batsman Mike Hussey as a key reason to persevere with Clarke, the Herald Sun quoted Chappell, as saying: “Many wanted Mike Hussey out of the team, we decided to back his ability to perform at the top level and we were repaid in spades by his performances in the Ashes series. We are pretty confident that, given the same opportunities, Michael Clarke will repay the same way."
"He has got through to the end of the World Cup to sort it out and we are confident he well and truly have it sorted before then," Chappell added.
Clarke averaged 34.7 in the winter Test series against Pakistan, 8.75 across two tests in the following Border-Gavaskar Trophy in India then 21.5 in five Ashes outings against dominant England this summer.
Clarke has just 25 more runs this one-day series against England.
Chappell recalled battling through his own tough times with the bat - making four consecutive ducks in 1981-82 in tests against Pakistan and West Indies.
"I learnt having been in similar situations a few times in my career that the difference between batting well and poorly is not that great and generally between your ears," Chappell said of Clarke.
"We are prepared to give him the support his past performance has demanded."
Meanwhile, Clarke has hit back at criticism of his tweeting, telling critics to "take a chill pill".
Asked if it was appropriate for the Australian captain to be tweeting when in a form slump, Chappell said: "It is what it is. That is how that generation communicates. They just have to be conscious of what they say."
Perhaps the best advice came from veteran batsman David Hussey, who prefers to focus on his family and day job.
"I don't do Twitter. I have a happy wife at home and that is all I care about. I just focus on cricket," said Hussey of Clarke, whose fortunes have dipped since splitting with model Lara Bingle.