'We haven't played good cricket to taste success'
Desperate to put an end to the controversy surrounding the suspension of four players including vice-captain Shane Watson, Australia skipper MichaelClarke said he doesn't want to "look backwards" and focus on the third Test, starting on Thursday.
"That (the issue) happened in the past. We are looking forward and don't want to look backwards," Clarke said, adding that the "focus is on the Third Test."
Besides Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja will also be sitting out for Test in wake of the disciplinary action taken against them by the team management for not submitting an assignment.
Clarke said that he had spoken to Watson when he landed in Sydney after leaving Chandigarh and expected the cricketer to be back for the fourth Test after his wife delivers their first child.
"Hopefully, he can fly back," he said.
Clarke said they would announce their playing XI and would also take a call on wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, who had sprained his ankle while playing basketball at Chandigarh last week.
Image: Michael Clarke
'Toughest challenges of the career'
Asked whether the team has put off-the-field controversies behind, Clarke answered, "Yeah, I think that has been a big part of our last two days as team preparation-wise (to focus on the match ahead), we trained really well.
"Today will be no different, our focus after we made our decision a couple of days before was to look forward and look to this Test match and we have been wholly and solely focused on that as a team.
"Over the past 48 hours, it's obviously been a lot of media and a lot of talk about the decision that was made, but from our side of the thing as a team, we know we need to be focused on this Test.
"We know how important a win in this Test match is, we know we have to win the next two Test matches to level the series, so that is our focus."
When quizzed about the current phase presents the toughest period in his leadership career since on turning tracks the team is expected to bat well, he said, "As I said before the start of the series, it is certainly one the toughest challenges of my career to come here as a player and as captain and try to have success both personally and also as a team.
"I think we have seen in the first two Test matches how difficult it can be. You know you have to play well over the whole five days to beat India in the sub-continent. That's for sure.
"In patches, we have played some good cricket. But unfortunately, majority of the first two Test matches we haven't played good enough cricket to taste success here," he added.
Image: Michael Clarke
'Pitch looks dry'
About the challenges that lay ahead of him, Clarke said, "The tour here is a tough challenge. That's for sure. I think as a captain and as a selector you would always like to select from your full range of players, from your full squad.
"We still have 13 players if Matthew Wade is deemed fit. I am very confident that with the 11 we decided to go with, we can have success and win this third Test."
With Pattinson out of the Test, Clarke said that a captain always feels nice to have a full strength squad at his disposal.
"Look, as I said that as a captain you always want to have your full squad available for selection. It gives you plenty of options.
"There is not much grass to cut off and it looks dry. I think the conditions are going to be very similar to the ones we faced in the first two Tests.
"There's no real surprises there. I have played a bit of cricket in Mohali, generally they leave a little bit of grass there to assist the fast bowlers but I am not surprised that all the grass has been cut off. But that's part of international cricket.
"I think the positive today is that we know what we are in for. We have seen the Indian bowlers, we are a lot better prepared than, say what we were before the first Test, knowing the conditions (better) now," said Clarke.
Image: Final touches being given to the Mohali strip
Batting up the order
Clarke once again reiterated the fact that he will bat up the order in the Mohali Test.
"We haven't selected the XI as yet. We are still waiting for Matthew Wade's report, who trained today. So we are going to give him every chance possible to be fit for this Test.
"We will see how he feels tomorrow morning and we will announce the XI at the toss.
"In regards to the batting order, I don't know at what position I will bat as that depends on what 11 we pick, but I am confident that I will be batting higher than No 5."
Asked as spinners could hold the key, was he happy with what he has got, he said, "We have three spinners Nathan, Doherty and Glenn Maxwell.
"We've got some options there. It's about us, I guess, trying to work out what our best bowling attack is and also one of the best batters to take to the field and give us some success in this Test match."
Image: Michael Clarke