Watson returns home, contemplates retirement
Chandigarh, Mar 11 : Australian vice-captain Shane Watson left for home and was contemplating retirement after he along with three others were sidelined for the third Test for a breach of discipline.
Trailing 0-2 in the Test series, Australia took a harsh decision Monday by dropping Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khwaja.
An angry Watson immediately left for home saying he needs to be with his wife Lee who is expecting a baby later this month.
Watson said he was absolutely shattered and was weighing his future.
''Any time you're suspended for a Test match unless you do something unbelievably wrong, and obviously everyone knows what those rules are - I think it is very harsh,'' Watson was quoted as saying by Australian daily The Age. ''I'm at a stage where I'm sort of weighing up my future and what I want to do with my cricket in general to be honest."
While Watson, vice-captain, and Pattinson were the obvious choice for the third Test starting March 14, Khawaja and Johnson had a strong chance of featuring among the eleven.
The players were given five days to submit three points on what they bring in the team either by mail or in person. The four players failed to meet the deadline set by the team management.
Coach Mickey Arthur while making the decision had it was one of the toughest decisions taken by him, skipper Michael Clarke and team manager Gavin Dovey.
Australia, who are trailing 0-2 in the series after crushing defeats in the first two Tests, have just 13 players to choose from.
"That's a line-in-the-sand moment. We have given these guys absolute clarity. After Hyderabad the whole team was really hurting, we were discussing ways of getting back into the series," Arthur said.
"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," he added.
Arthur said by taking a harsh decision the management has maintained team discipline.
"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," Arthur said.
"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 better 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," he added.
Arthur said Aussies will have to fall in line when it comes to discipline if they want to rule world cricket again.
"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 been 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," he said.
Arthur said even skipper Michael Clarke feels that it was time to take strict actions.
"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 (Clarke) 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," he said.