Who can ever forget the image of Michael Clarke claiming a potentially grounded catch off Sourav Ganguly at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in January 2008? Minutes later, Australian captain Ricky Ponting, having taken his deputy's verdict, shook his head, a distraught Ganguly was sent packing. On that occasion, it was the fielder's verdict that mattered, part of a pre-series agreement between captains Anil Kumble and Ponting.

Michael Clarke

Rest assured, there is no such agreement this time around. After everything that has transpired in the last four years, the players and boards have realised the need for a controversy-free Test series. Australia skipper Clarke has warned his players of strict action in case they choose to toe the line.

Isn't it ironic? "Both teams understand where we're at. I think the relationship between Australia and India teams could not be stronger," Clarke said. "I think there's a lot of friendships made there and we all understand there's a line you can go to, but there's a line you can't cross.

"I can guarantee you that nobody in the Australian team will cross that (line) and if they do, there will be punishments from the ICC and also Cricket Australia. We'll be doing everything in our power to play some really competitive, tough cricket, but we understand and acknowledge that we won't cross that line," Clarke added.
Clarke admitted that the Indian Premier League (IPL) had helped create some friendships. "The IPL has played a big part because you get to play with people from all around the world," he said.