Watson feels Clarke will score a century in Hughes’ honour

Adelaide: Australian all-rounder Shane Watson says he will be ‘extremely surprised’ if captain Michael Clarke does not score a hundred in honour of Phillip Hughes in the first cricket Test against India.

Clarke has overcome a hamstring injury and has been declared fit to lead the team in the Adelaide Test, starting today.

Clarke has won praise from all quarters for his composure since the sudden death of his ‘little brother’, fronting the media on behalf of the Hughes family and delivering a touching eulogy at his Macksville funeral last week. But as attentions turn to the first Test at Adelaide Oval, teammate Watson said the captain was ready to play.

“Michael was running around the field with no problems yesterday,” Watson told the Nine Network. “There’ll be no doubt that he’ll be ready to go in such an emotional Test match. I’d be extremely surprised if he didn’t peel off another hundred because he’s certainly got a lot to play for, as we all do,” he said.

Watson applauded his skipper’s constant support for Hughes family and strength in the face of such severe personal loss. Coach Darren Lehmann confirmed that the 33-year-old was back in playing form despite the unpredictable nature of his hamstring injury.

“He’s done a couple of behind closed doors sessions and then obviously the main session, and got through all that,” he told Sky Sports Radio. “We’re pretty confident he’ll get through.”

Paceman Josh Hazlewood will be 12th man, even as Shaun Marsh has been overlooked.

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