As someone who knows more than most about being overlooked for Australian Test selection, Brad Hodge has gone in to bat for Test discard Glenn Maxwell.
Hodge, who retired from all forms of international cricket last season after a decorated 25-year career which included just six Tests, said Australian selectors hadn't given the Victorian all-rounder enough chances to prove his worth at the top level.
"It is disappointing ... for Maxwell to be out of the side," Hodge told Macquarie Sports Radio on Friday.
"Unfortunately for Maxi he probably hasn't been given an extended run or a great opportunity."
Maxwell, who scored 707 runs at 50.50 at Sheffield Shield level last season, was controversially left out of the 15-man Australian squad to face Pakistan in two Tests in the United Arab Emirates next month.
New Australian coach Justin Langer reassured Maxwell that selectors were keeping the faith but wanted more domestic centuries from him.
But that method didn't work for Hodge, who smashed more than 10,000 runs at an average of 45.34 with 29 hundreds at Sheffield Shield level.
His incredible record netted him five Tests before being dropped with an average of 58.42. He returned for one more Test in 2008.
Hodge, who recently wrapped up a stint coaching T20 side St Lucia in the Caribbean Premier League, insisted Maxwell had all the personal and professional traits to be a Test regular.
"He's a cricketer (who) you want in your side," he said.
"He bats, bowls and fields and he's a good team man."
But Hodge sympathised with the job of the selectors.
"It just goes to show that it's a hard hole to fill even when you're even missing (Steve) Smith and (David) Warner," he said.
Qantas Tour of the UAE
Australia Test squad: Tim Paine (c), Ashton Agar, Brendan Doggett, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc
Sep 29 - Oct 2: Tour match v Pak A, Dubai
Oct 7-11: First Test, Dubai
Oct 16-20: Second Test, Abu Dhabi