When Kyle Verreynne was first called up to the Proteas squad for the ODI series against England in February, he knew that there was no guarantee of getting a game.
That proved to be the case as the 22-year-old Cape Cobras batting ace looked on from the dugout for all three matches without getting on the park.
The Proteas lost the series 2-1, and Verreynne went back to the Cobras where he failed to do anything special with the bat in four One Day Cup matches.
He was soon back in the national set-up, though, picked in the squad for the three-match ODI series against Australia over February/March.
This time, Verreynne would get his chance as Proteas coach Mark Boucher took the decision to rotate his squad and expose a few more youngsters to international cricket.
Verreynne impressed with scores of 48, 3 and 50 as the Proteas secured a 3-0 series whitewash and, looking back now, he is grateful for the time he was given in camp during the England series, even though he didn't play.
"Being a part of the England series and not getting a game, a lot of people would have considered that a disappointment but for it was one of the best things that could have happened," Verreynne said.
"I got a chance to experience the team culture. I got a chance to interact with all the players and experience what being part of an international set-up is like. You train with the guys and get to understand the intensity that is required at this level.
"Having a few weeks with the team and being able to learn all those things ... when I did get an opportunity to play against Australia I felt a lot more prepared."
With international cricket currently at a standstill as the global coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc, South Africa's limited overs tour to Sri Lanka in June remains in serious doubt.
Verreynne, though, is eyeing even higher honours and his ultimate goal is to force his way into the Proteas Test side.
"For me, red ball cricket is really enjoyable and one of my ultimate goals is to play Test cricket," he said.
Verreynne also paid tribute to Proteas batting coach Jacques Kallis, who has served in a consultancy capacity since Boucher took the reins late last year.
"Working with Jacques Kallis was really enjoyable and obviously with being a Wynberg old boy there is already that connection," he said.
"Being able to tap into his brain and find out what worked for him at international level and what worked for him for so long is something that you don't always get the opportunity to do. I tried to take as much out of it as I possibly could."
- Compiled by Sport24 staff