The similarities were striking as Luke Ronchi and Devon Conway sat together on the eve of first international cricket engagement of the summer.
One might be on the verge of starting a Black Caps playing career while the other has got off that treadmill and on to the coaching conveyor belt, but their back stories bounce nicely off each other.
Both left warm climates and rock-hard wickets to try their luck in the global wind-tunnel experiment that is Wellington on wickets the colour of St Patrick's favourite jumper.
Perth-raised Ronchi was still playing competitively when Conway arrived in the capital in 2017 but only had half an eye on what was happening domestically.
"I do remember the chat about him being around but I was coming and going by then," Ronchi said. "From there it's gone from not knowing to just like... wow!"
The connection between the two went back nearly a decade earlier.
When the IPL was played in South Africa in 2009 for security reasons, Ronchi's Mumbai Indians played a warm-up game against Conway's club team.
"At the end of the game I walked up to him and said, 'Hi Luke, are there any spare shirts you have available?' He actually gave his to me and I'll never forget. I was in the boarding house at the time and I went back to school wearing that playing shirt of his for the next two years.
"Funnily enough, I'm sitting next to him [now] and it still feels like a surreal moment. It's awesome."
Ronchi doesn't remember this interaction, although it clearly tickled Conway. To be fair, though, the classical left-hander had an unfortunate knack of going about his business without being noticed.
This was how a local cricket writer introduced a piece on Conway making his debut for KwaZulu-Natal Inland after struggling to find a place in his native Gauteng side.
"It is sad indictment of the state of South African cricket that the two most significant innings played by a young batsman since Jacques Kallis made his first-class debut were watched by a pitiful crowd of less than 50 and attracted no mention at all in either the print or electronic media. It is also disgraceful that the innings were played by a young batsman of astounding promise who failed to gain selection for any national side during his school years, despite a school record that can only be described as astonishing."
In a blistering piece, the journalist outlined how Conway had scored "something like 40 hundreds" by the time he had left school and how he had been failed by a coterie of selectors of various sides who had failed to recognise that he was a better left-hander than JP Duminy, David Miller and Colin Ingram, who had all played for the national team by then.
The South Africa's-loss-is-New Zealand's-gain storyline might be cheap fodder but there is an inescapable sense of anticipation around the 29 year old's debut - perhaps to an extent not seen since a gifted right-handed teenager emerged out of the Bay of Plenty a decade or so ago.
If Conway is feeling an added sense of burden, it's not showing. Having played a lot of cricket by now, he's got a firm handle on understatement.
"I don't listen too much [too it]," he said of the buzz around his potential Eden Park debut against the West Indies. "I focus on staying in the moment as much as possible. I focus on the task at hand and whatever else happens, happens.
"You never quite know when that opportunity might come around so when it does happen you always try to make sure you're ready," he said, expanding ever-so-slightly.
A couple of unbeaten 40s in an unofficial match against the West Indies test squad has given him "time in the middle", he said, and the confidence of knowing that even international bowlers miss their marks from time to time.
Conway is not going to big up himself. It's not in his nature.
Ronchi, though, is under no such restraint.
"The numbers he has put up have just been amazing," Ronchi said of the player who topped the aggregates in all three domestic competitions last year. "That's what it comes down to. His selection is warranted, he put numbers there to say 'pick me', and he's kept doing for a long period of time.
"That's really cool to watch; for someone to come in and knock the door down massively."
The T20 international is the first of five engagements with the West Indies and the first match they've played since March when the Chappell-Hadlee one-day series was called off as the extent of the threat of Covid-19 became apparent.
"When you look at the T20 World Cup coming up it's about working out your best XI," Ronchi said.
That process starts now and while it might just be another T20 for some, for one player who probably didn't get the opportunities he deserved in the land of his birth, it will never be described as meaningless.