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Australia drops key players on disciplinary grounds

Australia drops key players on disciplinary grounds
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In an unneeded step to maintain its strict disciplinarian image, Cricket Australia on Monday axed vice-captain Shane Watson, seamers James Pattinson, Mitche Johnson and batsman Usman Khawaja from the side for the third Test against India starting at PCA Stadium on Thursday.

The decision which gave a shocking twist to their already disastrous tour was sparked after the quartet failed to make a presentation on how to improve their personal as well as the team’s performance after the innings defeat at Hyderabad last week.

‘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. The stunning turn of events leaves Australia, trailing 0-2 in the series, with just 13 players to choose from for the third Test. ‘After Hyderabad the whole team was really hurting, we were discussing ways of getting back into the series. 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,’ Arthur said.

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.

Meanwhile, upset at being sacked, Watson is now contemplating quitting Test cricket. Watson had checked out of the team hotel and left for Sydney.
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