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.
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.
"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.
"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.
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