Australia's tour of India went from bad to worse on Monday after four players, including vice-captain Shane Watson, were shockingly axed from the team for breach of discipline.
Watson, pacers James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson and young batsman Usman Khwaja have been dropped for the third Test after failing to make presentations in a team meeting as instructed by the management.
"This is a line in the sand," coach Mickey Arthur said while making the announcement here. The Aussies will now have just 13 players to choose from with star pacer Pattinson missing from the equation despite the pace-friendly conditions.
The quartet, along with the other team members, had been told to make presentations after the heavy losses in the first two Tests. The four will therefore not play in the third Test starting on Thursday.
Team manager Gavin Dovey was present with Arthur when the stunning annoucement was made.
"Players were asked to outline three points on what they bring to the team by email or in person, and given five days to complete the task," Dovey said.
Arthur said the move is meant to maintain discipline in the team.
The Michael Clarke-Mickey Arthur Bombshell
First Published: March 11, 2013, 1:28 pm