Michael Clarke returns for Boxing Day Test, as a commentator

Melbourne, Dec 24: Australia's injured skipper Michael Clarke will join the Wide World of Sports commentary team for the Boxing Day Test against India starting here Friday.

India-Australia series schedule

Clarke, who is recovering from hamstring surgery, will take on the role throughout the third Test against India, providing an unique insight into his teammates and contemporary opponents.

Clarke will have a microphone in his hand instead of cricket bat

"It's an absolute thrill to have Michael on board, he joins a long list of Australian Test captains we've had in the Wide World of Sports commentary box," cricket.com.au quoted Brad McNamara, Nine's executive producer of cricket as saying. (Australia take 2-0 lead)

"We're really looking forward to him joining us and offering his insights on cricketers he plays with and against on a regular basis."

'Different view of Boxing Day Test'

Clarke is excited about the prospect of joining the commentary team for arguably the biggest event on the Australian sporting calendar.

"I'll have a very different view of the Boxing Day Test this year," he wrote in his News Limited column.

"Channel Nine have kindly asked me to be part of the commentary team for the match, so I'll be flying down to Melbourne on Christmas Day to join them.

"I'm not sure what to expect. It will certainly be unusual watching the boys from the booth rather than being out there with them on the field.

"Still, it has got to be an improvement on the last Test, which I watched first from a hospital bed and then from my couch," said Clarke.

Clarke meanwhile, believes veterans Brad Haddin, Shane Watson and Chris Rogers should play next year's Ashes, despite recent talk about the trio's form.

The 33-year-old skipper said the three brought "so much more to the table than just their batting" and supplied balance and experience when young players such as debutant Joe Burns entered the side.

Brad Haddin under pressure to score runs

'Haddin flawless with the gloves'

"'Hadds' might not have made a big impression in the runs column over the past couple of Tests but he has been flawless with the gloves," Clarke wrote.

"And let's not forget his contributions with the bat last summer. The Ashes series might have played out quite differently without his valuable runs down the order."

Clarke said while Watson had not enjoyed the success with the bat he would have hoped for despite promising starts, he had bowled crucial overs in Brisbane and picked up the wicket of Rohit Sharma.

He tipped the all-rounder to make a big score in the third Test starting Boxing Day (December 26).

"He brings tremendous balance to the team and, from what the boys are telling me, he's absolutely creaming them in the nets," he added.


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