By Niall Anderson in Sydney
On Thursday afternoon, Glenn Phillips was winding down an enjoyable day bodysurfing at the beach in Tawharanui.
18 hours, one phone call and a rushed trip to the airport later, he was walking out at the SCG as New Zealand's newest test cricketer.
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The 23-year-old's call-up was so last-minute that he had to initially take the field without a name or number on the back of his jersey, and he even could have missed his chance if not for some friendly Auckland traffic and a keen eye on his phone.
"I was trying to find a couple of friends and when I got the call I thought it was them calling. When I saw it was [Black Caps selector Gavin Larsen] I was like 'Oh hey Gav, how's it going', and he said 'We've got a bit of situation mate – we need you on a plane in a couple of hours.'
"I pushed it really fine – the traffic played a bit of ball, my brother-in-law left only five minutes after me and he actually arrived half an hour later – so thank goodness I got on when I did."
Even when Phillips linked up with the Black Caps in Sydney, he still wasn't expecting to make his debut, but when Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls and Mitchell Santner were all ruled out due to illness an hour before the test began, Phillips was ready to take his sudden opportunity.
"Gary [Stead] came over to me and said 'Hey mate, you're going to be batting five', and I just thought 'Woah – this is happening'," Phillips recalled.
"I may never get the chance again so I'll just grab it with both hands and enjoy the moment for what it is. We all try our best for our domestic teams and hopefully you do get that surprise call one day – because it may just be your big break."
Phillips was handed his test cap by Ross Taylor, a special moment having grown up watching Taylor, and with whom he's cultivated a good relationship after playing alongside him for the Black Caps in Twenty20s, and in the Jamaica Tallawahs in the Caribbean Premier League.
The Auckland batsman has scored centuries in all three formats this season, but pointed to his Plunket Shield campaign last season, where he averaged 76.2, as a key reason for his call-up.
"Previously I hadn't done all that well in four-day cricket. I really worked hard on it and the runs started coming, and in the end all I could say to myself was if I put the runs on the board, I give myself the best chance.
"I didn't think anything like this was going to happen anytime soon, but I definitely was trying to prepare so that if I did ever get the chance, I'd be ready for it when it came."
Now that he's got his opportunity, Phillips has the daunting debut task of facing the likes of Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, and he's aware that preparation is as important as ever.
"They've got a quality bowling attack – if there's anything they can get out of the pitch they'll find it, so I just want to make sure I've got my game as sorted as possible and keep my gameplan as simple as I can."
And despite the Black Caps batsmen's struggles so far this series, Phillips believes they can turn it around when they begin their innings.
"The boys at this level are here because they're that good at it.
"And to be a part of that now – it's a dream come true."