It took a 23-year-old who had been in the country for just 48 hours to display the application and drive that Sri Lanka had been begging for all summer.
Lahiru Thirimanne, who only landed in Australia on New Year's Day as a late call-up to an injury- ravaged squad, typified Sri Lanka's renewed attitude in the Sydney Test yesterday by crafting a career-best 91 in the visitors' total of 294.
It's not the sort of score that will cause Michael Clarke any sleepless nights, but it's light years ahead of its twin disasters at the MCG a little over a week ago - when the top order crumbled on both occasions.
And central to it was Thirimanne, dropped after a poor series in England last April.
Boasting the less-than- intimidating average of 19.84, Thirimanne came within nine runs of producing just the visitors' second century on tour - something even the man he replaced, all-time great Kumar Sangakkara (fractured finger), was unable to achieve.
And after just one training session with the team, he briefly assumed the role as the team saviour. "Kumar Sangakkara is a great player, one of the greatest cricketers in the world," Thirimanne said.
"It's a great opportunity for me to replace him for a Test match in Australia. I thought I grabbed that opportunity with both hands."