Mental and technical fortitude - and patience - paid off for batsman Phil Hughes at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart on Friday, when his fine half-century carried Australia to 299 for four on day one of the Test series opener against Sri Lanka.
Hughes, recalled to the XI in the wake of the veteran Ricky Ponting's retirement, marked his return with a telling 86, eight fours and a solitary six included.
The 166-ball vigil attested to the talented left-hander's solid stretch of form this season, which has brought him an average of 51.80 in Sheffield Shield cricket, while his move from New South Wales to South Australia has facilitated an aggregate of 80.75 in limited-overs competition.
This week, too, he scored a brisk 74 for the Adelaide Strikers in their six-wicket Big Bash League victory over the Perth Scorchers - and Friday's Test match comeback spoke volumes of the 24-year-old's resurgent talents.
"There were a couple of nerves, but overall I was quite calm. There was more excitement around me than anything. I was just happy to get out there and back in the colours again," said Hughes. "It was nice to get a few, it would have been nice to get three figures and a few more, that's cricket. To get 80-odd was good for my confidence."
"I have worked on my game. I was a lot more patient through my innings than I have been 12 months to two years ago, mentally knowing I've been here before is probably a good thing as well, but technique no doubt feels a lot more comfortable."
The pull shot served Hughes well in Hobart, with more than a third of his runs scored through the on-side - a region the batsman acknowledged isn't his preferred scoring area.
"It was something that I probably didn't do 12 months ago, so I knew I had to bring it into my game as well. It keeps the bowlers honest as well, but there was one or two shots there. I had to work on my leg-side play and I've done it and I feel like it's in decent order at the moment," he added.
Hughes shrugged off concern over captain Michael Clarke, who nursed a knee injury through the closing throes of day one. "He does have a big limp but he'll get a bit of treatment and I'm sure he'll continue on tomorrow," he concluded.