Test great Justin Langer has denied throwing Matt Renshaw "under the bus", saying he was merely highlighting the increasing pressure that is building on the out-of-form opener.
Renshaw's Ashes hopes are in doubt after his drastic form slump continued in Queensland's Sheffield Shield clash with NSW.
The 21-year-old scored 16 and 1 against the Blues, meaning he has failed to reach 20 in his past nine innings.
Recently, Langer noted that the the pressure was building on Renshaw, and pointed out that WA batsman Shaun Marsh was in sparkling form and deserved another crack in the Test arena.
Langer has also talked up the Ashes prospects of fellow Warriors Hilton Cartwright and Cameron Bancroft.
But former ODI paceman Brett Geeves questioned why Langer would point out Renshaw's struggles instead of helping the youngster.
He said it was like Langer was salivating over the "deliciousness of eating the next 10-year opening batter, just to push a clear state-based agenda."
Geeves, who played two ODIs and one T20I for Australia, wasn't done yet.
"It is this lack of equality, clear favouritism and push of friendship-based agendas that is cruelling the cricket landscape," Geeves said in his Fox Sports column.
"It plays a key part in why our rankings, across all formats, continue to fall.
"It's not bloody hard. Pick the best teams, at all levels, and leave the friendship politics of selection to those swapping sandwiches in the schoolyard."
Langer felt his comments about Renshaw had been unfairly interpreted by Geeves.
"Brett Geeves made a comment that I'd thrown him (Renshaw) under the bus. But that's not the case," Langer said.
"It should always be very competitive to be in the Australian cricket team. That's how it's always been, and should be.
"Whoever it is, you've got to be on top of your game to be playing cricket for Australia.
"Matthew Renshaw is a very good player. He's got an excellent temperament.
"He's had a tough start to the season, no doubt. I have no idea what the selectors will do."
Bancroft could replace Renshaw in the first Ashes Test after producing a series of sparkling knocks.
The 24-year-old has scored 76 not out, 86, and 228 not out in his past three Shield innings, as well as donning the wicketkeeper gloves.