Dawid Malan revealed he tapped into the knowledge of former Australia international Adam Voges before starring on his Twenty20 debut for England against South Africa.
The 29-year-old left-hander compiled a dazzling 78 batting at three as the hosts clinched a 19-run victory and a 2-1 series win in Cardiff on Sunday.
Malan struck 12 fours and two sixes in an entertaining knock as England's total of 181-8 proved out of the Proteas' reach.
Being a relative late comer to international cricket, Malan spoke of how he chatted with Voges, a team-mate at Middlesex, who did not make his Test debut until the age of 35.
"It is a fantastic experience to play for your country and to contribute in a win like that on debut is fantastic," he said.
"I thought this day might never come. I had a chat with Adam Voges, who played later for Australia.
"I asked what he did and how he kept motivated when you keep getting overlooked for younger and younger players.
"He gave me some advice and fortunately I had a good Lions series and got picked when players were rested."
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Jos Buttler, standing in as captain for the rested Eoin Morgan, paid tribute to Malan's knock, while also praising the character of 20-year-old leg-spinner Mason Crane (1-38), who came in for some punishment at the hands of AB de Villiers before snaring the South Africa captain for his first international wicket.
"Dawid Malan was fantastic on debut. It is not easy to come in and show that much composure under pressure. On debut it was a fantastic effort," he added.
"Mason Crane, for a 20-year-old, has got great character. He was bowling at one of the best players that have ever played the game on a ground with a short boundary.
"It was very tough on him but all credit for having the bravery and guts to keep going and get the wicket. I am sure he will remember it for a long time."
De Villiers said it was always his intention to go at Crane, but the Proteas skipper believes England are going to be a force to be reckoned with for some time.
"I was always going to after him. Well done to him for sticking to his guns," De Villiers said.
"England do have some really good youngsters. They have good depth and all round are a really good team.
"They seem to be going through a good patch and have a lot of talent. They have a bright five to 10 years ahead of them."