Australia coach Darren Lehmann has pointed to the outstanding domestic form of Cameron White and the indifferent returns at ODI level of Glenn Maxwell as the simple reason for the national selection panel's much-discussed selection decision ahead of today's first Gillette ODI against England in Melbourne.
White earned a shock call-up on Thursday as replacement for the injured Chris Lynn in the ODI squad, beating out-of-favour Maxwell as well as KFC Big Bash surprise packet D'Arcy Short to the spot.
The 34-year-old former national T20I captain had regularly dismissed his chances of another shot at international cricket, having not appeared in green-and-gold in any format since November 2014.
But his volume of one-day runs in the domestic 50-over tournament – he has scored 1,147 runs at 54.62 in the past four summers – as well as his impressive start to BBL|07 (285 runs at 53.60) presented an iron-clad case for his recall.
"Selection is always tough, as we know, and there's so many different views out there," Lehmann said on ABC program Offsiders.
"But Cameron White has been fantastic for three or four summers with Victoria in the one-day arena, and he's started really well in the Big Bash.
"He's in good form and that's what we want."
Lehmann argued against the suggestion that captain Steve Smith's public criticism of Maxwell, who he said needed to 'train smarter', subsequently made it impossible for the Victorian to be selected in place of Lynn just days after those comments. He also dismissed any notion of a culture clash between Maxwell and Smith, or anyone else in the national set-up.
"No, it's actually about results," he said. "Our one-day form has been poor for the past 12 months and we need to change that around, and our middle order hasn't performed.
"Glenn over the last 20 games has averaged 22, so that's not good enough for a man of his talent.
"We want him to go back (to domestic cricket), play really well, force his way back into the side and if he does that then I'm sure he'll have a long career with Australia.
"We're not crossing him out at all – we think he can play. But a man of that talent, as you can see fielding the other night (for Melbourne Stars), he's the whole package, but he's still got to be able to perform and perform well.
"He played very well in the last couple of BBL games, made a couple of fifties and looked in good touch.
"But Cameron's above him at the moment. He'll get his chance, and I'm sure he'll be back soon."
2017-18 International Fixtures
Gillette ODI Series v England
Australia ODI squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Cameron White, Adam Zampa.
England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
First ODI MCG, January 14. Tickets
Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Tickets
Third ODI SCG, January 21. Tickets
Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Tickets
Fifth ODI Perth Stadium, January 28. Tickets
Prime Minister's XI
PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets
Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series
England T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.
First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets
Second T20I Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets
Third T20I Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets
Fourth T20I NZ v England, Wellington, February 14
Fifth T20I NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final TBC, Eden Park, February 21