Mohali, Mar 11: Reeling under two successive defeats, Australia Test selection was thrown into disarray as four of their players were dumped out of the squad for third Test due on disciplinary reasons, on Monday.
Initial reports from Australian journalists travelling with the team said vice-captain Shane Watson, Usman Khawaja, James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson will not be considered for selection for the third Test against India, which starts here on March 14.
Reports suggested that the four were axed following to adhere to team orders which was to make a presentation to the coach Mickey Arthur on how to improve the performance in the series. Barring these four rest of the members of the squad made a presentation. The players were asked to make three points on how they could contribute to the team. They were asked to email or submit in person. The players barring the quartet completed the task. They had to finish the assignment by Saturday (March 9) and were told on Tuesday (5).
"Sydney Morning Herald" newspaper quoted Arthur as saying: "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."
The coach said the decision was "line in the sand" moment.
"I believe those four players unfortunately did not meet my requirements so those four players are not available for selection," Arthur added.
"It's a tough decision, but the message it sends is that we are serious about where we want to take this team.''
Further the newspaper report added Arthur as saying:"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.
"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."
Australia will have to choose their playing 11 from the rest of 13 available for selection, including Brad Haddin who is on his way to join the team as cover for the injured Matthew Wade.
Fast bowler Jackson Bird, who was with the squad, has returned home due to an injury.
Australia players available for selection for third Test: Michael Clarke (captain), Ed Cowan, David Warner, Phil Hughes, Moises Henriques, Matthew Wade (injured, doubtful), Brad Haddin (set to join team), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Siddle, Xavier Doherty, Steven Smith.