10 Mar 2010

Ponting backs Clarke to spend time at home

6:28 pm on 10 March 2010

The Australian vice-captain Michael Clarke is expected to be named in the Test squad to face New Zealand, despite the continuing dramas surrounding his fiancee Lara Bingle.

Clarke's exit has highlighted the intrusion of the personal on his professional life and raised questions about his seemingly inevitable ascension to the Test captaincy.

He's not sure when he'll re-join the team, although he's keen to get back in time to take part in the Test series, which starts in Wellington on March 19.

Ponting says he told Clarke to to take as much time as he needs to "sort out some personal stuff"

and hopefully the team can do the right thing and win the one day series without him.

Meanwhile Tasmanian George Bailey is the limited overs replacement for Clarke.