The Kiwis will be stooping to an unacceptable low if they sledge Michael Clarke about his troubled personal life in the upcoming Test series but the Australian vice-captain is strong enough to handle such a situation, feels teammate Mike Hussey.

“I’d hope it doesn’t come up — that would be a bit below the belt. It’s a personal issue and it’s probably going a little bit too far if they do mention anything about that,” Hussey was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

“He’s such a mentally tough cricketer to be able to perform at this level on a consistent basis, particularly with the pressure he has been under. I think he’ll be fine,” he said.

“It’s important for us just to concentrate on our game and not get caught up in the by-play and the gamesmanship that can happen in any game of Test cricket,” added the left-handed batsman.

Clarke, who along with Simon Katich, Steven Smith and Phillip Hughes joined the Australian squad in Wellington on Monday, recently had to pass through the most difficult phase in his personal life when his engagement with long-term girlfriend Lara Bingle broke on a sorry note.

Since then he has been a subject of non-stop media attention and the scenario is expected to remain the same in the two-Test series against New Zealand that begins at Wellington on Friday.

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