It should come as no surprise, but when asked what affect the prospect of World Test Championship points might have on New Zealand's approach to the series opener against the West Indies, Kane Williamson offered perhaps his most Kane-Williamson-answer yet.
"You can't get ahead of yourself and think about where you might end up on ladders," he said from Seddon Park, the venue for the first test of the summer. "If you take care of what's in front of you, perhaps the bits down the road will look after themselves."
Yes, the skipper is back and, yes, test cricket is back. After an 11-month absence, there's something comforting in both those simple facts.
New Zealand have forged a formidable record at home in recent years and will be firm favourites to beat Jason Holder's West Indies. A series clean sweep will help propel them up the Test Championship standings and put them in with a chance of making the final at Lord's in June.
For a guy who rarely looks further ahead than the next ball, that's not a prospect he is ready to get excited by.
What you get with the 80-test veteran is not a call to arms as much as it is a warm embrace. Life's rhythms and schedules have been disrupted in ways which will make "2020" the obvious answer for a million pub quiz questions in the years to follow and Williamson recognises that the inconveniences to cricket were just a tiny speck in the big picture.
"Everybody saw that enforced break through Covid quite differently and to have the opportunity to go to Dubai [for the IPL] and get back involved with cricket you got the sense that all the players over there were looking forward to the opportunity to just enjoy the game and play cricket again," Williamson said.
"Obviously the international arena is the ultimate and it's great to get back together with the team after such a long time."
The 30-year-old sat out the damp T20 series won by New Zealand 2-0. More significantly, perhaps, is the fact he hasn't played red-ball cricket for close to a year. Summarising that situation as "not perfect", Williamson can take some comfort he is surrounded by people who have played a number of first-class games this season, including a man whose test debut has been on pause for 628 days.
If Will Young is the superstitious type he will not be listening to any calls of congratulations until the first ball of the test is finally delivered. Only then will he be finally able to call himself a test cricketer.
He has been called in to open the innings as a replacement for injured veteran BJ Watling. Tom Blundell, who was originally selected as an opener, will take the gloves and Watling's place in the middle order.
The atrocities committed at the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre on March 15, 2019, denied Young the chance to make his debut. He would have almost certainly earned a cap or two in Australia last season, too, but for the fact he was rehabilitating a shoulder he had recently had surgery on.
Blundell and Glenn Phillips instead jumped the queue.
While Young could be forgiven for checking the flight paths of any plagues of locusts, Williamson said the fact he has been around the squad for a long time had its advantages.
"Often you come into teams and it's new and you're trying to get a feel for the group but he's got that feel. He's an experienced player who's played a lot of first-class cricket to a very high standard."
That is not in dispute. Earmarked for national colours since making his first-class debut in 2012, Young has scored 5000 runs at an average well north of 40. If there was a criticism to make, it was that he didn't convert enough stylish starts into centuries but he's gone a long way to rectifying that of late, scoring three of his 10 first-class centuries in his last five matches, including 133 for New Zealand A against the West Indies in Queenstown last week.
Watling is one of three first-choice players to miss the first of four tests this summer. All-rounder Colin de Grandhomme has been ruled out of the series with a bung foot and first-choice spinner Ajaz Patel will miss the first test with a calf strain.
Daryl Mitchell and Mitchell Santner have been called in as replacements and the likelihood is one of those two will suit up while the other carries the drinks.