Will Pucovski's Test career started with a heartfelt promise that Australia's Test squad would help him through whatever challenges lie ahead.
On the rain-marred opening day of the SCG Test, when Pucovski and Marnus Labuschagne marched their side to 2-166 at stumps, it was the 22-year-old who stood up in Australia's hour of need.
"It's been quite surreal ... it's been a bit of a rollercoaster," Pucovski told reporters.
"It was a pretty incredible experience.
"Davey gave me the choice of facing first or not. I changed my mind about 200 times and eventually decided.
"It wasn't the best sleep I've ever had."
Every Test debut is laden with pressure but that rung especially true in Sydney on Thursday.
Pucovski carried the nation's hopes on his shoulders, having entered a four-Test series that was in the balance after two lopsided matches and was always going to be back-page fodder no matter what happened.
There were concerns about the Victorian's multiple concussions and questions about his capacity to play the short ball - baggage resulting from a nasty bouncer blow that scuppered his hopes of debuting in Adelaide or Melbourne.
There was also an awareness of Pucovski's mental-health struggles, which prevented him from debuting during the past two home summers.
It was one of many themes that Andrew McDonald, who coached the prodigy at Victoria and is widely considered Justin Langer's likely successor as coach of Australia, touched on during the cap presentation.
"Like most journeys in cricket, there's always some ups and downs. You've been through a few," assistant coach McDonald told the team huddle.
"But the one thing is you've met every challenge head on and the resilience you've shown to get through this latest part of your journey has been significant.
"There will be some more challenges ahead. The game doesn't get any easier.
"Whatever challenges are in front of you, this group around you will help you through."
Pucovski noted it was a special moment but he was a "tiny bit sad" because Victoria's closed border meant his family and girlfriend were absent.
"Especially dad, who has just been there the whole way and been a massive support," he said.
"Disappointed that he couldn't make it up, but ... it was 99 per cent elation."
Ricky Ponting, Steve Smith and Brian Lara were among several good judges impressed with Pucovski's first knock at the highest level.
Pucovski dug in after David Warner's early dismissal then kept the scoreboard ticking over, scoring freely in the sort of fashion that Australia so glaringly failed to during the first two Tests.