Captain Michael Clarke was left to contemplate the unsuccessful makeup of Australia's XI after Tuesday's eight-wicket defeat at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk, Chennai.

India romped to a vital series one-nil lead in the four-match affair on the back of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's first-innings double-century and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin's match haul of 12 wickets.

The Australian team arguably lacked balance, and despite a favourable impact with the bat, all-rounder Moises Henriques' role with the ball failed to justify selection ahead of spinning counterpart Glenn Maxwell.

Henriques bowled the least amid a visiting attack lined with fast bowlers Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson and spinner Nathan Lyon. His right-arm seam was largely non-threatening - and achieved a solitary wicket, that of tail-ender Harbhajan Singh.

Lyon, meanwhile, travelled for 244 runs in 52.3 overs - and his relative lack of success in conditions primed for turn and bounce raised questions about the absence of left-armer Xavier Doherty, who is in line to replace Lyon come the second Test in Hyderabad.

"We've got the same options we had before this Test. Australian spin took three wickets in the first innings. Fast bowling took a lot more. That doesn't mean to say we got it right by playing three fast bowlers and a medium-pace all-rounder," said Clarke.

"We need to look at conditions again and work out what we think is the best XI. It's not just about selection. It's about how you perform. I don't think we bowled well enough in our first innings, and we certainly didn't bat well enough in our second innings.

"If we don't have a third fast bowler, Moises can certainly do that role. I think it's very exciting the way he has started. He's been a very talented player for a long time. He looked very comfortable with both bat and ball, and that's exciting for Australian cricket going forward."

Clarke conceded the tourists' second innings total of 241 all out lacked the proportions to truly trouble the opposition, who dismantled a modest 50-run target quickly and reasonably easily in the first-hour of play on Monday.

"There are areas in the Indian team we didn't attack enough. If we'd got 150 or 200 on the board for them to chase we might have been able to expose, or at least seen how they played on a deteriorating wicket," he added.

"A lot of credit has to go to India. They outplayed us. Dhoni certainly led the charge. I thought Virat Kohli was outstanding as well - his century - but Dhoni changed the game for them.

"His quick scoring rat, it certainly had an impact on the game. It contributed a lot to India's success in this Test match. But like I said, Kohli made a fantastic ton. Ashwin got seven wickets in the first innings, and five in the second. That's three very good performances. We were outplayed."