Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has admitted his shock over the axing of Simon Katich.
The 35-year-old Test opener has lost his central contract despite being one of Australia's best-performing batsmen.
Katich last week blasted the reason given for his axing - that Australia needed to bed in a new opening partnership for the 2013 Ashes series - as "absolutely ridiculous" and hammered the selectors for "inconsistent" decisions.
Ponting, who retained his contract for the 2011-12 season despite a poor run of form, believes Katich was right to air his views.
The former skipper told Nine Network television: "It's fair to say he didn't hold back in his press conference and rightly so as well.
"To be omitted from the contract list was a great shock to him. It was a shock to me.
"His performance in the last two or three years has been as good as anybody in the world."
Ponting, 36, who stood down as captain after Australia's humiliating Ashes defeat and quarter-final exit at the World Cup, said he would have liked to have another "old bloke' in the Australia team along with middle order batsman Mike Hussey.
"It puts us 36 year-olds on notice now, Mike Hussey and myself," he laughed. "It's going to make us work that little bit harder."