Towering all-rounder John Hastings achieved a boyhood dream when he made his Test debut for Australia on Friday.
But that dream seemed an unlikely prospect last summer when Hastings missed the whole domestic campaign after undergoing a fourth shoulder reconstruction.
Hastings, who has notched 11 one-day and three T20 appearances for Australia, merely wanted to get back in action with Victoria again this summer.
But after making a successful return with the Bushrangers, the 195cm Hastings dared to dream bigger.
Now, he’s Australia’s newest Test player.
The 27-year-old was handed his baggy green by Australian great Adam Gilchrist on Friday morning, and finished the opening day of the third Test against South Africa with tidy figures of 1-51 from 20 overs.
Hastings admitted he was a tad nervous taking the new ball, but found his rhythm as the day wore on to snare the scalp of AB de Villiers.
And it would have been two wickets had Ed Cowan held on to a straight-forward catch when Hashim Amla was on 11.
But it mattered little for Hastings, who was just proud to be playing Test cricket for Australia.
“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind in the last six months,” Hastings said.
“It definitely is a boyhood dream.
“I found out 15 or 20 minutes before the warm-up (that I would be playing).
“It was a pretty special moment.
“My mum came over and my fiancee is here as well and a couple of good mates.
“They got here just in time to see the cap being presented. It’s nice to have them over here and it’s nice they could share that with me.”