"If I was Maxwell I'd be thinking, 'why didn't you give me the chance to actually go there (to India) and push my case to get myself into the team?'" Ponting told cricket.com.au.
"That's all a bit bizarre to me. If I was Maxi and I hadn't been given the chance to play for Australia A, I'd be ropeable. They didn't pick him on that Australia A tour and they've said they've seen him play enough in those conditions and knew what he could do.
"But if you think about it now, that must have actually meant they weren't going to pick him at all. He didn't even come into calculations for that Test tour.
"With Marnus and Travis Head going on that A tour, they gave them the opportunity to play in those conditions, they've done well and then they picked them (for the Test squad).
"I'm not sure what the message is, but it's a bit confusing to me,” Ponting added.
Ponting has worked with Maxwell during the IPL as well - with the Delhi Daredevils and said that he might not be consistent but remains a match-winner.
"He's someone who's desperate to play Test cricket for Australia, he wants to play any game of cricket he can for his country,” said Ponting.
"He might be sitting back now thinking what he has to do and hopefully the selectors have told him that. Hopefully, they've been on the phone already and told him what he needs to do to get back in the team.
"If all they've said is that he needs go back to Shield cricket and score runs there, well, he's done that the last couple of years. He's always going to be that type of match-winning player. If he comes off every two or three or four games - that's the kind of player he's always going to be.
"He's got enough time and skill to be able to play more Test cricket for Australia."
However, selector Trevor Hohns has said that Maxwell remains on the radar for Test cricket while head coach Justin Langer added that the all-rounder needs to convert his good starts into big hundreds.
"He’s a very good player and I was very impressed with him in England (on June's limited-overs tour), the way he goes about his business," Langer said.
"I’d love to see Maxi score more hundreds. And he and I have talked a lot in our brief time together about the art of concentration and watching the ball like a hawk.
"I’m sure if he does that more regularly, he will be making a lot more hundreds and be much more pickable for Test cricket."
First Published: September 11, 2018, 5:24 PM IST