In India, Aussies are underdogs, says Pup


Over and out

The absence of retired veterans Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey opens up spots at numbers 3 or 4 and No. 6, further compounding the selection muddle for Clarke and the other selectors. Watson hasn't scored a Test hundred since his 126 against India at Mohali in October, 2010. He scored the century and two half centuries in Australia's 2-0 sweep on that tour, and averages 40 in his six Tests in India.

"Shane needs to come back into the lineup,'' Clarke said, but added: "It's a lot different now that Watto is not bowling. As an allrounder, I think he walks into any team. As a batsman, there is a much bigger pool of players, so we've got to work out what our best batting lineup is.''

The 17-man Australian squad contains two specialist spinners, two allrounders and an increasingly confident pace bowling group. Despite the glut of bowlers and his history of back problems, Clarke the premier batsman in the world in 2012 is expecting he'll have to bowl some of his left-arm spin. "I'm more than happy to bowl as much as I need to bowl,'' Clarke said.

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