Ricky Ponting says he’s confused by the omission of Glenn Maxwell from Australia’s Test squad.
The former Australia captain said he was also surprised Maxwell was left out of the recent 'A' tour of India.
Australia’s selectors announced the squad for the team's two-Test series against Pakistan in the UAE on Tuesday.
Maxwell had been tipped for a call-up in the absence of suspended trio Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, but uncapped pair Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head were both picked ahead of him, with chief selector Trevor Hohns citing their performances on the A tour – for which Maxwell was not selected – as a reason.
Ponting, who has coached with the Australia limited-overs sides this year, says Maxwell should have been given a chance to impress selectors on the A tour.
"If I was Maxi I'd be thinking: 'Why didn't you give me the chance to actually go there (to India) and push my case to get myself into the team?'" Ponting told cricket.com.au.
"That's all a bit bizarre to me. If I was Maxi and I hadn't been given the chance to play for Australia A, I'd be ropeable.
"They didn't pick him on that Australia A tour and they've said they've seen him play enough in those conditions and knew what he could do.
"But if you think about it now, that must have actually meant they weren't going to pick him at all. He didn't even come into calculations for that Test tour.
"With Marnus [Marnus Labuschagne] and Travis Head going on that A tour, they gave them the opportunity to play in those conditions, they've done well and then they picked them (for the Test squad).
"I'm not sure what the message is, but it's a bit confusing to me.”
Hohns says Maxwell remains on the "radar for Test cricket", but head coach Justin Langer called on the 29-year-old to score more centuries.
"I’d love to see Maxi score more hundreds," Langer said. "And he and I have talked a lot in our brief time together about the art of concentration and watching the ball like a hawk.
"I’m sure if he does that more regularly, he will be making a lot more hundreds and be much more pickable for Test cricket."