After years of hard toil with the ball, Ben Hilfenhaus exploded into form with a scintillating 2011/12 campaign.
The Tasmanian quick had experienced a tough period, as he and the Australian team struggled at home in the 2010/11 Ashes. Hilfenhaus finished the series with just seven wickets at a costly return of 59.28.
Months of hard work with various bowling coaches worked wonders for the opening bowler. A rejuvenated Hilfenhaus was a tentative selection for the first Test against India, but the gamble proved a master stroke.
He claimed his first ever five wicket haul in the big win in Melbourne, finishing with 5/75 from his 26 overs.
He continued his brilliant start to the Australian Summer, picking up another five-for, this time in Sydney. On a flat track that had seen Michael Clarke score 329*, Hilfenhaus toiled hard all day to finish with 5/106.
Just when it seemed things couldn’t get any better, the paceman picked up match figures of 8/97 from 56 overs to wrap up another big win in Perth.
His brilliant Test form earned him a rare call-up to the ODI side, where he once again starred, taking 5/33 against India.
Hilfenhaus’ superb season didn’t go unnoticed, as he finished the year ranked 6th in the ICC Test rankings (his highest career rating).
The swinging superstar has also developed into a very handy lower-order batsman. Better known for his big hitting, Hilfenhaus has developed a sound technique, which saw him bring up his maiden Test half century.
Unfortunately, with a stack of young quicks coming through, it looks as if Hilfenhaus might finish his Test career stranded on 99 wickets.
Australia’s loss will be Tasmania’s gain, with the big man keen to prove he is anything but a spent force.
Hilfenhaus picked up wickets in every match he played for the Tigers in 2012/13.
He saved his best performance for the Queensland Bulls in one of the final regular season matches. The seamer savaged the top-order with four first innings wickets, before narrowly missing out on a hat-trick in the second.
Hilfenhaus clean bowled Greg Moller with his first ball in the final, before snaring another two as the match finished in a draw.
His vast experience should see Tasmania continue their recent domestic dominance.