Australia's reserve opener Phil Jaques was due to leave the tour of India on Friday after succumbing to a long-standing back problem. Jaques, who partnered Matthew Hayden throughout the 2007-08 season, was overlooked for the first Test in Bangalore when the selectors preferred Simon Katich.
Jaques is the second squad member to make an early departure following Bryce McGain's return with a shoulder problem before the first Test. Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said a decision would be made over the next few days on whether to send for a replacement.
Brad Hodge, a regular tourist with Australia, has started the domestic season with two centuries for Victoria while David Hussey and Shaun Marsh will also be considered. If Australia's bowlers perform poorly in the second Test in Mohali the selectors may consider parachuting Andrew Symonds back into the side to provide an extra spin option. However, a Symonds comeback is dependent on factors other than form following his suspension from the team before the Bangladesh contest.
Alex Kountouris, the team physiotherapist, said Jaques would see a specialist after landing in Australia. "Phil has had a long-standing problem with his lower back that has been manageable up until now," he said. "The point has come where the injury is significantly limiting his ability to play."