Sydney, Mar 11 (ANI): Australia vice-captain Shane Watson has sensationally headed back home on Monday after he was sacked along with three other teammates from the Test squad to face India in the third Test match at Mohali, starting on Thursday, for serious disciplinary breach.
Watson was made unavailable for the third leg of the series, alongside fast bowlers James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson, and back-up batsman Usman Khawaja, for a breach of team discipline, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Head coach Mickey Arthur said the quartet had failed to comply with requests to deliver a presentation, by email or in person, on what they bring to the team.
The stunning development leaves Australia with only 13 players in contention for the match, 12 if wicketkeeper Matthew Wade does not recover from a bruised ankle, the paper reported.
While veteran glove man Brad Haddin was already in the air as cover for Wade, Watson was preparing to fly in the opposite direction from Chandigarh airport.
The 31-year-old quit the tour on Monday afternoon to be with his heavily pregnant wife Lee, who was due to give birth at the end of the month, the paper said.
Devastated at the decision of management, the vice-captain is understood not to have realised the gravity of the task asked of all players following the innings defeat in Hyderabad last week that left Australia 2-0 behind.
Watson's departure from the tour, and the standing down of the three other players, leaves Australia in disarray two days away from a Test and with morale and unity further shattered following an already forgettable first half of the series, the paper added. (ANI)