Watson looks set for a dramatic reprieve following a tumultuous fortnight which has seen him return to Australia on 12 March alongside James Pattinson, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson in disgrace after a breach of team discipline, before celebrating the birth of his son Will with wife Lee Furlong last week.

Clarke’s bid to recover from a back injury appeared to be over after the ICC’s second best batsman missed a second net session ahead of the fourth test at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.

“Like I’ve said for a long time, he’s our vice-captain and in my opinion if the board and the other selectors appoint him as captain he has my 100 per cent full support,” said Clarke.

“I talk to Watto regularly about what we are doing bowlers wise, team wise, it’s no different, he is the vice-captain and the communication happens every game.”

Remarkably, if Clarke does miss the match it’ll mark the first time the 31-year-old will have missed a test through injury in his nine-year international cricket career.

Phil Hughes is being touted as a likely replacement for Clarke at three ahead of Watson.

Speaking about the potential of surgery to correct his injury Clarke said: “Right now, Ive been able to manage it for am I now, 31?

“I had my first scan at 17 that said I had degeneration in my disc.

“Ive been able to manage it this long, so I dont see any reason why I cant continue to manage it for the rest of my career.”

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