By BV Swagath
In a shocking development, the Australian team management has dropped four players for the 3rd Test at Mohali on disciplinary grounds. Three of those dropped players are proven match winners – Shane Watson, James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson. The fourth player is Usman Khawaja who was expected to play the Mohali Test in place of the struggling Phil Hughes.
It is definitely a crisis for the Australian team as the four of them would have played in the Mohali Test and losing them would weaken an already struggling outfit that has comprehensively lost two matches in a row. According to Cricket Australia, the team members were asked to map out a clear written plan for their individual approach to training and preparation for the next Test Match as asked by Coach Mickey Artur. While 12 players of the squad completed this task, the quartet of Watson, Pattinson, Johnson and Khawaja failed to obey the orders and did not give adequate explanation to the Coach.
Although the players are thorough professionals, the Aussie team management has taken the tough decision to crack the whip against them as it was unhappy with their attitude. Australia will go into the fourth Test with a weakened side as a result of this. The visitors already have a doubtful starter in Wicket Keeper Matthew Wade who hurt his ankle during a training session. Although Brad Haddin has been asked to fly in from Australia to join the squad as cover, the tourists would have only 12 players to pick their XI from for the 3rd Test at Mohali which begins on Thursday.
Shane Watson flies home!
Meanwhile Shane Watson has left India for Australia ahead of the Mohali Test. Watson is amongst the four players to be dropped on disciplinary grounds. Initial speculations were that Watson angrily left the team following the Coach’s shocking announcement. Later on, news has come in suggesting that Watson wanted to be with his wife who is pregnant and expected to give birth by the end of the Indian tour.