Peter Nevill will spend the next two months preparing to play every Ashes Test, but knowing he almost certainly won’t feature at all.
Welcome to the life of Australia’s reserve wicketkeeper.
Nevill has been learning plenty from Brad Haddin since the NSW pair flew out to the West Indies in May.
But the 29-year-old is keen to point out that the marathon tour of England is no tutorial.
“I can always learn a lot from Hadds, but this tour I’ve got to prepare to play,” Nevill said in Chelmsford, where he will face Essex in the four-day clash that starts at 8pm AEST on Wednesday.
“Should something happen to Brad and he gets injured, I’ll be playing, so I need to be on top of my game and ready to go should that opportunity arise.”
Haddin performed the role in 2005, when he was Adam Gilchrist’s understudy and sat on the sidelines throughout the thrilling series.
Haddin knows first hand it is no perfunctory position, having been a last-minute scratching at Edgbaston when he was injured during the warm-up for the third Test in the 2009 Ashes.
On top of Haddin’s expertise, Nevill suggested he would be picking the brain of on-duty selector Rod Marsh.
“I’m sure he’s gong to have plenty of feedback for me,” Nevill said of Marsh.
“He had a wonderful career as a wicketkeeper-batsman for Australia, so he’s definitely a great resource.
“I’ll be making sure I sidle up to him and have a good chat about those things.”
Haddin was rested from Australia’s tour game against Essex, with Nevill to take the gloves this week.
It’s been a long wait since the end of the Sheffield Shield season, when Nevill won the Steve Waugh medal as NSW’s best player.
“Apart from the little (academy) game in the Isle of Wight, I haven’t played cricket since the end of the season,” he said.
“It’s very exciting.”