Mohali: Australia's hapless tour of India took an extraordinary turn on Monday with a miffed vice-captain Shane Watson leaving for home hours after being sensationally dropped from the team for the third Test along with three other key players, raising intense speculation of a revolt within the squad.

Watson and three of his colleagues -- pacemen James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson, and batsman Usman Khawaja -- were shockingly axed from the team for the third Test beginning on Thursday for ignoring a team management order.

The four players were dropped for failing to make a presentation on how to improve their personal as well as the team's performance after the innings and 135 runs defeat in the second Test in Hyderabad.

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In a day of dramatic developments, Watson checked out of the team hotel while the rest of the squad trained, raising speculation that all was not well within the squad following the unprecedented sacking of the four players. However, Cricket Australia denied that Watson's departure to Sydney was a result of the decision and said he was heading home to be with his pregnant wife Lee Furlong, who is expecting the couple's first child.

The baby was due shortly after the end of the Indian tour and Watson had already been granted leave to fly home early if required. A Cricket Australia spokesman said that the process had been "accelerated" due to a change at home. It was, however, not known whether Watson would return before the fourth Test, which starts in Delhi on March 22.

"He has not left in a huff, his wife is expecting. And that is why he has left for Australia to be by her side. The two things (returning to Australia and being dropped from the team) should not be linked," Australian team's media manager Matt Cenin said.


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