Rain threatening start of third Test

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Australia will field a patched-up side for Thursday’s third Test, depleted by the shock suspensions of four players for failing to complete a homework assignment on time.

Vice-captain Shane Watson, in-form paceman James Pattinson, back-up quick Mitchell Johnson and reserve batsman Usman Khawaja have all been banned from selection for the third Test in Mohali.

Australia trail two-nil in the four-match series and adding to their woes is the morning rain which has left the pitch under cover and threatens to delay the game which is due to start at 3.00pm AEDT.

The tourists have only a 13-man squad remaining, including wicketkeeper Matthew Wade who struggled at training on Wednesday after suffering an ankle injury a few days earlier.

Former Test wicketkeeper Brad Haddin trained with the squad in the nets on Wednesday after being flown over as cover for Wade and Haddin appears set to take over behind the stumps.

If Wade is ruled unfit, Australia’s only decision would be who is the drinks waiter, with allrounder Glenn Maxwell one possible candidate after an expensive debut with the ball in the second Test in Hyderabad.

© AAP 2014