Perth: Australia's shock loss to India in the third Test plunged several members of the usually all-conquering team into uncharted territory, bowler Stuart Clark admitted.
As they trudged from the WACA Ground late on Saturday, Clark, Mike Hussey, Andrew Symonds, Mitchell Johnson, Phil Jaques and Chris Rogers, making his debut, were all contemplating defeat in the Test arena for the first time.
It was Australia's first Test defeat since the ill-fated Ashes tour of England in August, 2005.
Clark, who debuted in the third match of Australia's record-equalling 16-Test winning streak, said contemplating defeat was a "horrible" feeling that he didn't enjoy. The 72-run loss was made even worse by the fact that it ended their dream of a record 17th straight Test win.
"It was my first loss, I had never played in a losing game," the fast-medium bowler said. "Any time you lose anything, whether it be a game of cricket or a game of tiddly-winks, it is disappointing.
"We sat down, had a beer, and tried to make sure that next time we play that doesn't happen again."
At the other end of the scale, Shaun Tait is yet to taste victory from three Test appearances in one of Australia's richest eras -- his previous two Tests were losses during the 2005 Ashes tour.
The build-up to the Perth Test was dominated by repercussions from the controversies of the second Test in Sydney, but Clark dismissed suggestions the dramas affected the team's performance.
"There was a lot written and a lot said, but when we got on the field it was all behind us," said Clark, who bowled even better than his match haul of six wickets might indicate.
"We took care of that early in the week and tried to focus on our cricket.
"I don't think it played a major part at all.
"Maybe our cricket skills let us down rather than anything else."
Clark and fellow tail-ender Johnson briefly threatened to pull off a miraculous win as they rode their luck to thrash Australia to within a hundred runs of their target with a 73-run ninth-wicket stand.
However, all hope was lost when Clark was caught behind for 32, with only Tait, noted for his weak batting, left.
"We knew it was going to be one of those miracle things if it did happen," said Clark.
"We were enjoying ourselves and we knew if we got close, the pressure would start reverting back to India. When I got out it was disappointing.
"Shaun's a great cricketer but I'm not sure whether he had 50 or 60 in him."