The omission of John Hastings from Australia's one-day squad this week left the fast bowler understandably miffed, given that no bowler in the world has more ODI wickets in 2016 than his tally of 29. Hastings broke a finger during the Matador Cup last month but has declared himself fully recovered and is due to return for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield on Saturday.
However, despite his outstanding one-day form for Australia this year, Hastings was overlooked when Australia on Wednesday named a 14-man squad for next month's Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series against New Zealand. Instead, Australia's attack will be led by Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, who were both rested from the recent series in South Africa, and Pat Cummins.
Allrounders James Faulkner, Mitchell Marsh and the uncapped Hilton Cartwright also offer seam-bowling options for the three-game series. Hastings said interim chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns had called him to explain his omission and said that the return of Hazlewood and Starc, combined with the fact that Hastings had not played for a month, led to the decision.
"I was very disappointed - I was initially pretty shocked, to be honest," Hastings told reporters in Melbourne on Friday. "I felt my performances over the last 12 months had probably stacked up and in my mind, I'm 100% fit.
"I know I haven't played a lot of cricket, but five and a half months of not playing cricket and then going over to Sri Lanka without a game, it didn't really stack up for me. So yeah, I was very disappointed not to be in that side."
Hastings picked up a career-best 6 for 45 against Sri Lanka in Dambulla in August, having embarked on that tour with no cricket behind him since the IPL in April. Australia play five ODIs at home against Pakistan in January before travelling to New Zealand for a return Chappell-Hadlee Series, and Hohns told Hastings he remained in the selectors' thoughts.
"He [Hohns] just said I haven't really been playing much and the big boys were back, so that's all I can take," Hastings said. "For me, I don't really have a vessel to get back into that side. The Matador Cup is gone and my next white-ball game will be on Boxing Day, so for me, hopefully I get a game tomorrow in the Sheffield Shield, but other than that, it's really all I can do.
"I've taken the most one-day international wickets in the world this year, so obviously I'm disappointed not to be there. But if they think those guys can do a better job, then that's fair enough, I can cop that. I just have to try to go back and prove people wrong again."