Shane Watson flies home after four players axed from Australia squad
Last Updated: March 11, 2013 2:24pm
Shane Watson has flown home after he and three other players were axed from the Australia squad for the third Test with India for disciplinary reasons.
Vice-captain Watson, top fast bowler James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja have been dropped for failing to provide feedback to coach Micky Arthur on how Australia - 2-0 down in the four-match series - can improve for the Mohali Test.
Watson and Pattinson both played in the Chennai and Hyderabad Tests, while Khawaja had been tipped to replace the struggling Phillip Hughes in Australia's batting order.
Watson has struggled so far, cobbling together just 77 runs in his four innings and he has responded to the axe by confirming he may quit the game altogether as a result.
Pattinson was Australia's best bowler in Chennai with a five-wicket haul, though he took just two wickets in Hyderabad.
And with this summer's Ashes series just a few months away, Arthur insists he has to make an example of the quartet.
Arthur said: "This is a line in the sand. We pride ourselves on attitude. We have given the players a huge amount of latitude to get culture and attitude right.
"We believe that those behaviours are not consistent with what we want to do with this team, how we want to take this team to be the best in the world.
"I believe those four players unfortunately did not meet my requirements so those four players are not available for selection for this Test match.
"I asked the players at the end of the game to give me an individual presentation.
"I believe those four players unfortunately did not meet my requirements so those four players are not available for selection for this Test match."
"I wanted three points from each of them technically, mentally and team as to how we were going to get back over the next couple of games, how we were going to get ourselves back into the series.
"We have given these guys absolute clarity; we have given this team a huge amount of time to buy in with what we want to do for the Australian cricket team.
"We have given a vision to these guys that is spelt out, we've given an expectation that is spelt out and although this incident might seem very small in isolation, this is a line in the sand moment for us as a unit in our quest to become the best in the world.
"This has been the toughest decision that myself, manager Gavin Dovey and captain Michael Clarke have ever had to make.
"It's a tough, tough decision, but the ramifications for that within out teams structure and the message that it sends to all involved in Australian cricket is that we are pretty serious about where we want to take this team."