Australia have dropped Shane Watson, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Johnson and James Pattinson for the third Test against India, which begins in Mohali on Thursday.
All four players have been punished for failing to "comply" with team orders according to media reports coming out of India. They were asked to fill out a questionaire reviewing the team's culture following heavy defeats in the first Two Tests. The hosts won by eight wickets in Chennai and then by an innings and 135 runs in Hyderabad.
Mickey Arthur, the Australia headcoach, said the vice-captain Watson (40 Tests), pacemen Johnson (50 Tests) and Pattinson (9 Tests), and middle-order batsman Khawaja (6 Tests) were all "gutted" at being dropped
Arthur added the decision to drop them was a difficult one but that it had to be done.
"After Hyderabad the whole team was really hurting, we were discussing ways of getting back into the series," Arthur told reporters at a news conference.
"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.
"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. 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. I believe those four players unfortunately did not meet my requirements so those four are not available for selection for this Test match.
"That's a line-in-the-sand moment. 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.
"I think the best thing that these three days off have given me is reflection time, to reflect on how well have I been going in my job, like I expect everyone else to do when you're 2-0 down in the series. Myself and Pup came to the conclusion that we have been so focused on winning cricket games that maybe some people have been cutting corners. Perhaps there have been some soft options taken.
"We decided that we needed to really get that in line."
Earlier, the team management called up Brad Haddin as cover for injured wicketkeeper Matthew Wade who has a sprained right ankle.
Haddin has flown to India ahead of the Mohali Test as the tourists bid to hit back after losing the first two matches.
Wade was injured playing basketball on Saturday.
"Matt has a complex ankle injury which has been confirmed by the scans and at this stage is in doubt for the third Test starting on Thursday," said Alex Kountouris, the Australia team's physiotherapist. "A final decision on whether he will be available for the third Test will be made closer to the match."
Australia need to win the third Test if they are to avoid losing the four-match series.
Haddin played the last of his 43 Tests for Australia in January 2012. He has scored 2,257 runs including three centuries and 10 fifties. The 35 year old has also played in 96 one-day internationals and 26 Twenty20 matches.
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