It's not hard to see where John Bracewell was coming from with his stance on veteran all-rounder Chris Cairns.
The way he saw it, all the talent in the world couldn't make up for a critical shortage of match-fitness, and a policy of carrying on regardless would only send the wrong messages in the lead-up to the 2007 World Cup.
Cairns' ability was undisputed, but his decision to play only one-day cricket had bred inconsistency in terms of fitness and form, aspects that needed to improve if he wanted to be part of New Zealand's title bid at the end of next season.
Even more importantly for Bracewell, the rehabilitation of Cairns had to start immediately after the disappointment in Zimbabwe, where - by his own admission - he proved a "liability" to the team, and hardly played a game.
If a line had not been drawn in the sand then, there was a danger of Cairns' career meandering away below standard, possibly until Bracewell was forced to make an even more dire decision when it came time to naming his tournament squad.
Make no mistake, there might be 16 months until the ninth Cricket World Cup, but all roads still lead to the West Indies when it comes to the New Zealand coach's reasoning on team selection and balance.
Home form is one thing. Producing on a regular basis in an overseas tournament situation is quite another, and Bracewell knows his team have few remaining opportunities to practise getting it right before they head to the Caribbean.
In terms of the one-day side, the only touring assignments scheduled before the World Cup are the ICC Champions Trophy tournament in India next October, and the annual Chappell-Hadlee contest in Australia next November.
You can imagine by that stage, only five months out from the tournament proper, Bracewell would want the bulk of his cup squad already on board, and any remaining questions about the fitness of Cairns well and truly answered.
In many ways, what happened a couple of months ago was an intervention; a point when Bracewell knew he had to take action for the good of both Cairns and the team.
If he succeeded, both were likely to profit. If he failed, there would at least be time to consider new options.
Cairns has stated publicly that he disagreed with the reasoning behind his axing, although there seems little doubt that the upheaval forced some positive changes upon him, particularly in terms of his match fitness, commitment and attitude.
That he's largely ducked the media since his recall on Wednesday suggests he's still not comfortable with the amount of debate that surrounded his sacking, and that he still isn't entirely clear about why Bracewell felt compelled to take such a dramatic step.
Perhaps we can help him.
New Zealand have so far competed in eight World Cup tournaments and on four occasions have reached the semifinal stage, without being able to push further.
During that time their appreciation of a squad concept has been almost non-existent, with most changes forced through injury.
Time and again, New Zealand's World Cup squads have comprised a first 11 and an assortment of back-up players who were never destined to play unless someone above them was injured or otherwise indisposed.
In the 1999 tournament in England, New Zealand picked a ridiculously lop-sided squad that had no extra batsmen, meaning players such as Nathan Astle, Matt Horne and Craig McMillan - who all had forgettable campaigns - continued to be selected.
The following tournament in South Africa wasn't much better. McMillan struggled throughout yet Mathew Sinclair played just one game; Andre Adams gave up more than six an over at the bowling crease yet Daryl Tuffey was largely overlooked.
Bracewell knows that has to change. He knows that to win a World Cup he'll need a fully interchangeable squad in which every player is capable of playing a role, or stepping into the breach when required.
For that to happen in the West Indies, everyone - Cairns included - needs to be on-song.By Richard Boock Email Richard