Australia in New Zealand 2009-10 March 14, 2010

Clarke confirms New Zealand flight

Cricinfo staff

Michael Clarke will join Australia's Test squad in New Zealand on Monday after ending his personal leave to deal with the breakdown of his two-year engagement. Clarke has confirmed his departure with Cricket Australia and a spokesman told Cricinfo he would fly from Sydney on Monday morning with the five-day specialists.

Clarke, the vice-captain, has been at home since leaving the one-day squad early last week and will be pleased to exit the intense local spotlight. Ricky Ponting is looking forward to getting his deputy back and Michael Hussey has said any sledging of Clarke's personal situation by the New Zealanders would be "going a little bit too far".

"I don't know, we'll have to wait and see really," Hussey told reporters in Wellington. "He's such a mentally tough person. He'll be fine. It's important we don't get caught up in that by-play."

Phillip Hughes, Steven Smith, Simon Katich and Marcus North will fly to Wellington with Clarke, who finalised his travel plans with Michael Brown, Cricket Australia's deputy, over the weekend. Ponting is confident Clarke will not have any problems readjusting to life in the Test side and he is a definite starter at the Basin Reserve on Friday.

"He'll get himself prepared for the first Test," Ponting said after losing the final match of the one-day series. "It's obviously been a tough time for him the last few days at home.

"All the guys here have given as much support as possible and he was given as much time as he needed to get everything sorted at home. He'll come back for us as the vice-captain and an experienced player in the Test side."