India vs Australia: Shane Watson, Usman Khawaja, others axed from team
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In an unprecedented move, Australia today axed vice-captain Shane Watson and three other key players from the side for the third Test against India for failing to obey team management orders, giving a shocking twist to their already disastrous tour.
Watson, pacers James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson and batsman Usman Khawaja were dropped for failing to make a presentation on how to improve their personal as well as the team's performance after the innings and 135 runs defeat in the second Test in Hyderabad.
"That's a line-in-the-sand moment. We have given these guys absolute clarity," Australia coach Mickey Arthur said while making the announcement at a press conference here.
The stunning turn of events leaves Australia, trailing 0-2 in the series, with just 13 players to choose from for the third Test starting here on Thursday.
"After Hyderabad the whole team was really hurting, we were discussing ways of getting back into the series," Arthur said.
"We were particularly aware of where we were as a team and how we were going to get back. I asked the players at the end of the game to give me an individual presentation.
"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," he added.
Arthur said the dropped players failed to meet the deadline set for making the presentation and it was important to maintain team discipline by punishing them.
"Unfortunately four players didn't comply with that. We pride ourselves on attitude. We have given the players a huge amount of latitude to get culture and attitude right," Arthur said.
"We believe that those behaviours with what we want to do with this team, how we want to take this team to be the best in the world, teams that are the best in the world have best attitudes and best behaviour patterns and a good, hard, ruthless culture.
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