Four Australian players axed for Mohali Test

Miffed Shane Watson leaves tour in a huff, contemplates retirement from cricket.

Serious cracks have appeared in the Australian camp following the axing of cricketers Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja from the upcoming third Test against India on disciplinary grounds.

So seriously did Watson take the announcement that he was reportedly contemplating his future in international cricket after being handed the unceremonious sack.

The star all-rounder and vice-captain, who was playing in India as a pure batsman, apparently left for Australia soon after getting the axe, which was surprising since the disciplinary admonishment was only for the third Test and Watson may have been picked to play the fourth and final Test at New Delhi.

Bleak future

"Anytime you are suspended from a Test match, unless you have done something unbelievably wrong, I think it is very harsh. I am at a  stage where I  have to weigh up my future with what I want to do with my  cricket in  general, to be honest," Watson told The Australian's cricket correspondent Peter Lalor.

Lalor had earlier broken the news that the all-rounder had left for Australia in a huff after learning about his ouster, possibly to be with his wife Lee, who is due to give birth at the end of the month.

"Shane Watson is leaving India after being axed from Test team over discipline issue," Lalor had Tweeted.

Errant players

According to a report in the same newspaper, the four players failed to submit a mandatory presentation on how the team could improve after losing the first two Tests against India. All players were asked by coach Mickey Arthur to map out a clear written plan for their individual approach to training and preparation, after Australia lost the second Test by an innings and 135 runs in Hyderabad.

Barring the four players, the other twelve completed the task on time.

Arthur then got together with skipper Michael Clarke, and manager Gavin Dovey for a meeting with the quartet. When they failed to give a reason for not completing the assignment, the players were told that they would not be playing the third Test in Mohali.

"We pride ourselves on attitude. We have given the players a huge amount of latitude to get attitude and culture right. We believe that those behaviours were not consistent with what we want to do with this team. The teams that are the best in the world have best attitude, best behaviour patterns and a good hard ruthless culture", Arthur said in a Cricket Australia press release.

"We've given an expectation that is spelt out and although this one incident might seem very small in isolation this is in fact a line in the sand moment for us, as a unit, in our quest to become the best in the world."

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With just 13 players in the squad, it will be interesting to see if the Australians put this squabble behind them when they take the field in Mohali.