Players and newspapers are seeking answers from selectors over the status of Test wicketkeeper Brad Haddin in Australia's team for the tri one-day series against India and Sri Lanka.
Selectors said Haddin was being "rested" when he was left out of Australia's opening three games in the tri series. But he was again omitted, without explanation from the selectors, when a new squad was named earlier this week.
The outspoken Haddin, who played in all six home Tests against India and New Zealand this season, said at the time of his first omission that he had in fact been dropped from the ODI team.
Watson, who is fighting his way back to fitness after missing all of the Australian season with hamstring trouble, said he sympathised with Haddin's predicament.
"I actually feel really sorry for Brad at the moment. He's been left in a bit of limbo unfortunately," Watson told reporters.
"He doesn't know which way he's going, whether he's being rested or dropped ... someone who's played an important role over the last five years in all forms of the game for Australia I think definitely deserves to be told either way what his future holds."
Ponting backed Haddin in his interpretation of events.
"I think Brad's been spot on the mark with everything he's had to say," Ponting told The Sydney Morning Herald.
"It's been made pretty clear now that what Brad's had to say at the start of the one-day series looks like it's the way it is. He's been unmoved in his stance on his situation."
The Australian newspaper demanded that chief selector John Inverarity clear up the "tedious" situation surrounding Haddin since his first omission.
"At the time, John Inverarity said it was 'very clear' and that 'as far as the selectors are concerned, he (Haddin) has not been dropped'," the newspaper said on Friday.
"Then, when the squad was named for the second group of one-day games, Haddin was not mentioned at all.
"The selectors, specifically Inverarity, must have known everybody was interested in the keeper's fate but chose not to make any reference to it in the (Cricket Australia) press release."
The Herald said Australia's public "can be forgiven for remaining puzzled" why Haddin is heading into a four-day Sheffield Shield game for New South Wales, rather than facing Sri Lanka in Sydney on Friday.
Source: AFP Global Edition