Canberra: Australian test team baffeled after four players including the Vice-captain were suspended for not doing their home assignment during their tour in India. Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Usman Khawja and Mitchell Johnson were suspended for one test by coach Mikey Arthur Monday evening making it "one of the most sensational days in Australian Crickethistory" as media reported.
Following the 2-0 trail in the Indian Test series, all the players were asked to deliver a feedback on the scope to improve the performance of the team. As the four failed to meet the deadline, Coach Mickey Arthur had axed them over lack of discipline.
Skipper Michael Clarke clearing it not to be an isolated incident, said the players had shown lack of respect towards their coach, the axing of such experienced players there is a culmination of a general slide in attitude on the Indian tour.
"It's a lot bigger than that. There's been a number of things on this tour that have not been up to the standard we would want as an Australian cricket team, hence our performance," he said.
"We can't accept mediocrity here. This is the Australian cricket team.
"Four of our players did not adhere to what is required from them, and that is unacceptable if you want to be a part of the Australian cricket team," he added.
Watson has threatened to quit, decided to return to Australia, leaving Clarke desperately short of experienced heads after the recent retirements of Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey.
"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 said.
With back-to-back Ashes series starting in July against a powerful England team, former players strongly criticised the decision by Arthur and Clarke.
"Adults we are, not schoolboys," tweeted Darren Lehmann, seen as a future Australian coach.
Former captain and selector Allan Border was equally astounded. "What are they on, a schoolboy tour?," he told Fox Sports.
"I don't see the logic in this. It is way over the top. It seems too strong a measure for coach and captain to take."
The Australian newspaper said it was "an all-round mess".
"These are calamitous times for Australian cricket and there's more to this than meets the eye," the broadsheet's cricket writer Peter Lalor said. "There is every chance Shane Watson may not play another Test for his country."
Compiled by Abraham Richard M with Inputs from agencies