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Clarke urges Aussies to stick by Wade

While lamenting the decision to axe Peter Nevill, former skipper says selectors must now show faith in out-of-form keeper

Matthew Wade must be retained as Australia's first-choice wicketkeeper for the start of the Magellan Ashes series, according to former captain Michael Clarke.

Speculation is rife that Australian selectors will make a change in the position given Wade has averaged just 20 with the bat since his Test recall last summer.

The Tasmanian has failed to reach double figures in any of his three JLT Sheffield Shield knocks so far this season, although he's been praised for his improved glovework in recent years.

Wade's Test hopes take a hit, bowled for 9

Meanwhile, Peter Nevill hasn't played for Australia since he was one of five players dropped after last summer's thrashing at the hands of South Africa in Hobart, where the hosts were rolled for 85 in their first innings.

While Clarke echoed the comments of legendary gloveman Adam Gilchrist and former captain Steve Waugh in saying the decision to axe Nevill at the time wasn't neccesarily the right one, he insisted the selectors had to stick by Wade heading into the Ashes.

"That was a complete circus what happened after that South African Test series," Clarke told Channel Nine's Sports Sunday.

"But they dropped Nevill. They made that tough decision.

Confident Wade tuning out critics

"Now that they've done that they have to stick with Matthew Wade. His last (six) Test matches have been in the subcontinent."

Wade made his debut under Clarke in the West Indies in 2012, before he was replaced by Brad Haddin in 2013.

Since being recalled last summer, he has passed 50 just once in 16 Test innings.

But Clarke said Wade's best was still ahead of him with both the bat and the gloves.

"Yes he might not have batted as well as we expect him to bat," Clarke said.

What's your favourite Ashes moment?

"But this guy can play. I've seen him make two unbelievable Test centuries – one in the West Indies and one at the SCG.

"His keeping has definitely improved. They have to give him an opportunity, they have to start with him."

Wade's chief rivals for the keeping role, Nevill and Alex Carey, both missed chances to press their claims in the second round of the Sheffield Shield this weekend.

Nevill failed to add to his overnight score against Western Australia for NSW on Sunday, caught behind trying to drive Jhye Richardson on 32 at Sydney's Hurstville Oval.

Nevill falls without adding to his overnight score

Carey was patient in his 36 against Victoria at the MCG on Sunday, before he slashed at a Scott Boland ball and was caught at point.

2017-18 International Fixtures:

Magellan Ashes Series

First Test Gabba, November 23-27. Buy tickets

Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Buy tickets

Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Buy tickets

Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Buy tickets

Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Buy tickets

Gillette ODI Series v England

First ODI MCG, January 14. Buy tickets

Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Buy tickets

Third ODI SCG, January 21. Buy tickets

Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Buy tickets

Fifth ODI Perth TBC, January 28. Join the ACF

Prime Minister's XI

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Buy tickets

Gillette T20 INTL Series

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Buy tickets

Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Buy tickets

Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Buy tickets

Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 13

Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21