x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

India v Australia: Shane Watson mulling over his cricket future

After he walks out on the Tour of India, vice-captain Shane Watson and three other cricket players were dumped by Australia because of a discipline breah.

Shane Watson said he was considering his future as an Australia cricketer after walking out on the tour of India on Monday when he and three of his teammates were told they would not be considered for the third Test as a punishment for failing to make a presentation on how the side could improve.

The decision to dump Watson, James Pattinson, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson came after they declined to send the coach Mickey Arthur their thoughts on where the team could do better following back to back defeats on tour.

Watson flew out of India on Monday night to head back to Australia to be with his pregnant wife, who is due to give birth at the end of the month, but he said he was upset by the decision to be removed from selection.

He told The Australian newspaper: "Any time you are suspended from a Test match, unless you have done something unbelievably wrong and obviously everyone knows what those rules are – I think it is very harsh," he said.

"In the end I have got to live with it. That is the decision they have made and at this point in time I am at a stage where I have to weigh up my future with what I want to do with my cricket in general. I am going to spend the next few weeks with my family and weigh up my options as to exactly which direction I want to go or keep on."

Arthur said the quartet were axed for failing to complete the task in the five-day window, leaving Australia with only 13 players – after Brad Haddin joined the squad on Monday – to choose from for the third Test starting in Mohali on Thursday. That could yet be reduced to 12 should Matthew Wade's ankle injury rule him out.

"This is a line in the sand," Arthur said. "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, how we want to take this team to be the best in the world.

"I believe those four players unfortunately did not meet my requirements so those four players are not available for selection for this Test match."

Arthur had said before Watson's departure that the four players would be available for the fourth and final Test in Delhi, with the team 2-0 down after losing the first two Tests.

"I asked the players at the end of the game to give me an individual presentation," Arthur said.

"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 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.

"This has been the toughest decision that myself, manager Gavin Dovey and captain Michael Clarke have ever had to make."


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