Australia's cricket selectors do not think Usman Khawaja is among the best 14 one-day players in the country, despite the left-hander's stunning form, including a man of the match performance for the Sydney Thunder in Sunday's Big Bash League final.
Khawaja has scored six centuries in all formats since October, and has form good enough for selector Mark Waugh to label him "better than Brian Lara", but the selectors have decided to leave the 29-year-old out of the Australian squad to tour New Zealand next month.
National selector Rod Marsh concedes Khawaja is in "red-hot form" saying "he's done everything that he can" to make a case for selection.
"Look it's disappointing for him," said Marsh in Adelaide, ahead of Australia's T20 match against India on Australia Day.
"But he should probably make a call to Shaun Marsh. Ask him how he felt getting dropped after making 182. It's just really sad. But it's also really healthy."
Healthy in the sense that Marsh claims there are 14 other players making an even better case for selection.
Captain of the National T20 side Aaron Finch agreed, saying that it is "good pressure to have that in a squad."
"I think Usman has been in really good form," Finch said.
"He's been playing well in all forms of the game. But the difficult thing is - who do you not bring into the side?"
Marsh also conceded the selection dilemma may put the panel at risk of not "striking while the iron was hot" in relation to Khawaja and his current form.
He said there "was a danger" after not working him into the side, but "we couldn't figure out who to leave out. Who to drop? They're all in such fantastic form."
"That's the only rationale that I can give. Tried our hardest to work him into the side," Marsh said.
"We'd love to have him in the side. We'd love to be able to pick 16 or 17 - because I think there's 16 or 17 that deserve to be picked."
Zampa to battle with Boyce for spinner's spot at T20 World Cup
Marsh also all but confirmed it is a two-horse race for the extra spinner's spot when Australia flies to India in March for the T20 World Cup.
When asked if it was "line ball" between Cameron Boyce and Adam Zampa, Marsh said "That's exactly what's happening."
Zampa has been in scintillating form for BBL side the Melbourne Stars, with selectors to have a good look at the leg spinner in February after he was selected in the 14-man ODI squad to tour New Zealand.
"Admittedly - we may not know what conditions he'll get in New Zealand, what he'll be bowling under," Marsh said.
"We'll wait and see - and try and give him in the best run over there... while also trying our darnedest to win those games."
Zampa's inclusion is the only change to the ODI team which just beat India 4-1, with Nathan Lyon to make way for the 23-year-old.
"We want Nathan to use the New South Wales versus West Australia Sheffield Shield match in New Zealand as preparation for the Test series," Marsh said.
"This will give us a chance to have a good look at Adam ahead of the ICC World T20."