David Hussey's dramatic fall from grace with Australia's World Twenty20 selectors overshadowed Monday's nine-run loss in a warm-up game against England.
The highest run scorer in domestic and international T20 history had a lean series against Pakistan earlier this month and was dropped for game three in Dubai, as well as sitting out Saturday's warm-up game against New Zealand.
Hussey, 35, was also left out on Monday as Australia showed their hand with allrounders Glenn Maxwell and Dan Christian batting ahead of wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, who went in at No.8.
Young pace sensation Pat Cummins was rested but is expected to return on Wednesday, sharing the new ball with Mitchell Starc as Clint McKay is demoted to drinks waiter.
Australia coach and co-selector Mickey Arthur says he wants a settled lineup for the early part of the tournament, with Australia scheduled to play Group B matches against Ireland (on Wednesday) and West Indies (on Saturday).
"We wanted to get everything structured and stable before we went into the tournament," Arthur said after Monday's game.
"Seven doesn't go into six. One guy has to miss out.
"Since I've come in (as coach) he's played every game, bar the start of this tournament (and last T20 in Dubai).
"We wanted to get a little bit more from Dave and we wanted Dave to finish games a little bit more than what he has.
"He's aware of that. We've had some good honest chats about it.
"Dave is still very clearly in the mix and down the line could play a really big role in this tournament."
Arthur says first-year player Maxwell is an exciting talent with his batting and offspin while Christian also offers plenty with his batting and medium pace.
"Glenn has played some really good one-day innings for us. He's got a bit about him," Arthur said.
"If he has a good tournament he's certainly a guy who can win games for us.
"Dave's probably a little bit unlucky."
After being invited to bat in steamy conditions on Monday, Alex Hales (52) and Luke Wright (35) shared a second-wicket partnership of 88 in England's 6-172.
Starc and spinner Brad Hogg claimed two wickets each but the bowlers struggled for accuracy and conceded 14 wides.
Australia replied with 6-163 at Colombo's Nondescripts Cricket Club ground.
David Warner made a third-ball duck but fellow opener Shane Watson (37 off 26 balls) gave Australia an excellent start by hitting three sixes in a brisk 74-run stand with David Hussey's older brother Mike who top-scored with a brilliant 71 off 51 balls, including three fours and five sixes.
Australia's middle-order woes continued with George Bailey and Cameron White out for single figures.