'We didn't bowl well in the first innings, nor batted well in second'
"We were outplayed in this Test match."
That was Michael Clarke's rather straightforward admission shortly after Australia were comprehensively beaten in the opening Test at the MA Chidambaram stadium on Tuesday.
When Team India loses, it is usual to see their captain looking for excuses and trying to put the blame on someone or something.
However, when the team from Down Under came up short, their captain offered no excuses whatsoever. In fact, he was categorical about the reasons that led to his team suffering such a heavy defeat.
"I don't think we bowled well enough in our first innings, and we certainly didn't bat well enough in our second innings," explained Clarke, refusing to admit that Australia suffered because they didn't have the right players.
'It's not just about selection'
"It's not just about selection," said Australia's captain.
"It's about how you perform," he added, proceeding to elaborate on where his team went wrong.
"There were areas in the Indian team we didn't attack enough," explained Clarke, adding, "If we'd got 150 or 200 on the board (in the second innings), we might have been able to expose, or at least see how they played on a deteriorating wicket."
Having said that, he was quick to congratulate the home team on taking a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.
'A lot of credit has to go to India'
"A lot of credit has to go to India," said Clarke.
The fact that the Australian batting line-up, save himself and debutant Moises Henriques, failed to make an impact in either innings did rankle the captain to an extent.
However, he refused to buy the argument that a change in the batting order would benefit the visitors.
"I've had that discussion in every Test match since I became the captain," said Clarke, adding, "I don't know how moving up the order guarantees any more runs.
"No matter where you bat, the guys in the top seven need to make sure we're scoring the majority of the runs."
'We have spinning options with Xavier Doherty and Glenn Maxwell'
Despite all the bowlers, save James Pattinson, failing to impress, and, more importantly, Nathan Lyon, the lone spinner, going for plenty and being largely ineffective, Clarke remained unperturbed.
"I've always made it clear to the players that I want them to back their own ability," explained Clarke, while ruling out major bowling changes ahead of the second Test in Hyderabad.
"We have spinning options with Xavier Doherty and Glenn Maxwell," he said.
"But we'll assess what the pitch is like and then make a decision," Clarke added.
He had expressed displeasure about the Chennai wicket ahead of the match. However, he was not critical of it now that his team lost.
"The bounce was inconsistent and in the second innings, it (the wicket) did deteriorate," explained Clarke.
"But I like to see a result in Test cricket, and the fact that the game went five days says to me that it's a pretty good Test match wicket," he added.