With Matthew Wade spending most of 2012 in the national squad, teammate Peter Handscomb was able to slot into his preferred spot behind the stumps.
Handscomb made his first-class debut two seasons ago as a top-order batsman. At the time, he was third in line behind Wade and Ryan Carters, and knew that only a glut of runs would keep him in the team.
A composed 71 on a green Gabba deck was the perfect tonic, and was quickly followed by a methodical 42 in the Ryobi Cup.
A series of handy contributions kept him in the squad, but it wasn’t until February 2012 that he finally cemented his place in the team with a classy 113 against the Redbacks.
His impressive run with the bat also saw Handscomb rewarded with the gloves after both Wade and Carters were made unavailable.
The extra duties saw him move down the order to the more traditional role of number seven in the Bupa Sheffield Shield.
The past season was consistent, without being flashy. A half century against the Bulls took his first-class to tally to five, while he hasn’t been able to add to his maiden century.
Averaging nearly 42 in 50 over cricket, Handscomb excelled against the touring English Lions. He struck a sumptuous 67* in Melbourne, before making 22 while playing for Australia A.
Five matches for the Melbourne Stars went largely unnoticed as the top-order did most of the damage. In fact, the 22 year old only faced 14 deliveries all tournament.
The Bushrangers would be pleased with the way he is progressing, and with Matthew Wade set to play more domestic cricket in 2013, state selectors will be hoping that a renewed rivalry will bring out the best in both players.