Mitchell Starc's injury could determine how the rest of the India vs Australia series plays out, according to Michael Clarke.
The Australian fast bowler has been ruled out for the remainder of the series, having been sent home after suffering a stress fracture in his foot.
It comes as a huge blow as the 27-year-old played a key role in Australia's thumping 333-run win over the hosts in the first Test and also grabbed three wickets in the second Test match, albeit in a losing effort.
With the series firmly poised at 1-1, former Australia captain Clarke believes Starc's absence will be a huge blow but maintained that the visitors should still remain confident after winning in the first Test in Pune, ending a 19 Test match unbeaten run for the hosts as well as 13 year win-less streak for Australia in India.
"It will have a huge impact. Mitchell Starc is that X-factor for the Australian team," Clarke said as quoted on PTI. "I think he will certainly be missed. Who they bring in I am not sure but it makes the game even tougher for Australia,"
"But Australia will still be confident that they can win in these conditions. They won in Pune and now can be confident that [they] can still win in Ranchi."
Clarke refused to talk about the DRS controversy but did go on to praise India skipper Virat Kohli for his aggression.
"Virat's aggression is one of his greatest strengths," he added. "That's the way he likes to play, that's the way he had success and I am sure that's the way he will continue to play.
Clarke is also happy about the way the series between the two nations is panning out, stating that there is always competitive cricket when the sides meet.
"It's a fantastic series," he explained. "Test cricket between India and Australia is always competitive and I love that."
"I am really happy that this series is being so competitive. Whether the series is being played in Australia or India, we always see good competitive cricket and this series is no different."