New South Wales batsman Nic Maddinson believes he was picked for Test cricket on potential rather than performances last summer, and will have to force his way back into the side by echoing the run-scoring feats of the recently-retired Adam Voges.
Maddinson, who played three Tests against South Africa and Pakistan, mustered only 27 runs from four innings before being dropped for the New Year's Test in Sydney, in which Hilton Cartwright debuted.
The dashing left-hander then took some time away from cricket, with the whirlwind Test experience leaving him "mentally drained".
Now he says the only way he'll get another opportunity in Baggy Green will be by doing things the old-fashioned way: turning selectors' heads with mountains of first-class runs.
"There's no reason, I believe, why I can't play (Test cricket) again," Maddinson told News Corp. "If it's going to be two or three years down the track (that's OK), I'm aware that a couple of good games in Shield cricket might not get me picked this summer.
"It's probably going to be an Adam Voges like approach that I'll have to take and try and score a thousand runs for a couple of years and earn that spot back.
"I was probably given a chance on potential more than on what I'd done in Shield cricket, so now I probably have to earn my spot through dominating Shield cricket."
Maddinson said he was burnt out after a hectic 2016-17 summer schedule; on top of juggling one-day and Shield cricket for New South Wales with his commitments at Sydney Sixers in the KFC Big Bash, he was given a difficult introduction to the Test scene against the Proteas in Adelaide.
A fired-up Kagiso Rabada knocked him over for a 12-ball duck on debut before twin failures against Pakistan and the pink ball in Brisbane heaped the pressure on him for the Boxing Day Test, with speculation quickly surrounding his place in the side.
He made 22 in Melbourne but it wasn't enough to spare him from the selectors' axe, as Cartwright's Shield form and option as a medium-fast seamer earned the West Australian the nod.
The 25-year-old said he hadn't entered the Tests in great form and things unravelled for him mentally across the summer from there.
"I was a bit mentally drained from that Test experience," he said. "Obviously I was still trying to find a game plan and find my game and I think just the back-to-back games in Big Bash and the travel and how fast-paced it is, I didn't really have the opportunity to sit back and really think about it or do anything about changing my game in that time.
"I was just on that run of outs and couldn't really get away from it.
"Cricket is such a mental game at a professional level and you do become drained and you do need a break.
"For a lot of people because it happens during the season they try to find a way through it, but hopefully me doing it allows someone else to not be scared to do it if they feel like it's the best thing for their career or their future.
"At the time I thought it was the only option so I was willing to do it.
"Ask anyone working in an office and they get sick of their job as well. Just because it's sport, it is still easy to get mentally tired and get drained and feel like you need that time off."