England middle-order batsman Kevin Pietersen will be the primary target of the Australians during the Ashes series despite his recent form slump, said vice-captain Michael Clarke.
"I think he'd be frustrated no doubt that he hasn't been able to perform in recent Test matches, but he's too good a player to go a long period of time without making runs," Fox Sports quoted Clarke, as saying.
"He's a big player, he's a match winner and I think he's one of those guys where if you're England you've got to have him in your team," Clarke added.
"He's had a lot of success in all three forms of the game and I think he's one of those guys in big series who you want in your team.
"In any team if you can keep one of their main players not scoring as many runs as they would like, I think you're doing a really good job as the opposition.
"I guess like Punter (Ricky Ponting) for us, England will be very focused on trying to minimise his impact in the games and we'll be doing the same for a few of their guys, but Kevin Pietersen will be one of them," he added.
While hoping Pietersen will not rediscover his touch, Clarke agreed the South African-born batsman had the capacity to have that kind of influence.