Shane Watson and Australia stutter on first day, as the all-rounder fills in as skipper for the injured Clarke.
On the morning of the first day of the fourth Test in Delhi, Australia confirmed what most of us had already guessed – that captain Michael Clarke would miss the Test through injury.
A back problem had stopped Clarke training on the two days running up to the final Test of the series and in his absence the returning Shane Watson was asked to fill in as skipper.
After being suspended from the third Test, the return of Watson was welcomed by many Australian fans after the side struggled in Mohali in his absence.
Suspended bowlers Mitchell Johnson and James Pattinson also came back to the side, but they had to wait to redeem themselves as their stand-in skipper won the toss and elected to bat.
However it wasn’t long before Australia’s woes continued when opener David Warner was out for a duck as seamer Ishant Sharma claimed his first victim of the day.
Phillip Hughes did hit a quick-fire 45 off 59 balls from number three before being bowled by Sharma. But Ed Cowan, Watson and the returning Matthew Wade soon fell without adding many runs to the total.
At 117-5 it seemed to be the same old story for Australia, with the Indian spinners once again causing their batsmen problems.
Glenn Maxwell was brought into the side to replace Moises Henriques as a spinning all-rounder but did little with the bat as he was dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja for 10 runs.
Ravichandran Ashwin then added to his scalps of Cowan and Wade by claiming Johnson and Steve Smith – who up until that point had been Australia’s only resistance and was eventually out for 46.
Bowler Peter Siddle provided some respite for the tourists as he and Pattinson batted until close, with Siddle top-scoring on 47 not-out.
Australia finished the day on 231-8 and if the injured Clarke was watching he probably won’t be too impressed by another average batting performance from his side.
Watch Sharma’s two Australian dismissals below: