Following his selection on the Australia A Tour of England this June, Tasmanian Tigers skipper, Matthew Wade, has detailed some of the reasons why his game has gone to a new level in 2018/19 - much of which can be attributed to Tigers & Hobart Hurricanes Senior Assistant Coach, Jeff Vaughan.
Having moved home to Tasmania from Victoria prior to the summer before last, Wade's form across all formats of the game - whether its white or red ball, has grown to a point where it hasn't been before.
Signs of this came in the JLT Cup to start 2018-19 in a handful of quick-fire cameos and one match-winning century before the Sheffield Shield began.
Once the Tigers were in white, Wade's form became more consistent and a record-breaking season followed either side of a Big Bash season which saw him finish second on the run-scoring behind only his Hurricanes opening partner, D'Arcy Short.
Wade was just the fourth batsman Australia-wide in the last decade to reach 1,000 runs in a Sheffield Shield season.
Expectedly, calls for a return to the Australian set-up came from experts and media alike at regular intervals throughout the domestic summer and now that his Ashes dream has a real chance of being a reality, Wade says it's Vaughan who has helped significantly.
"He’s been huge," said Wade.
"Working with him has probably changed the outlook of batting for me and how I have to go about it down here at Bellerive - it's completely different to what it was like at the MCG."
"He’s my kind of person and my kind of batting coach, he says it how it is, you know what he’s thinking."
"I think when Jeff came in, I was still playing for Australia so I think he sort of sat back a little and had a look at my game from a distance for a little while and then we kind of got the chemistry and got going."
But it's not just the more senior players in the squad who have benefited from Vaughan's impact.
"When he began in his role, a lot of the younger batters were a bit gun shy, especially considering the way the team had been going for a long period of time," Wade said.
"He gives you the opportunity to go out there and play and if it doesn’t work and you make your own mistake, he’ll have another option for you. That’s rare in a batting coach."
"He’s got a great ability to be able to let players make their own decisions and if it doesn’t work then he’ll provide another opportunity to help you find a way."
Wade ranks Vaughan alongside Greg Shipperd - current Sydney Sixers coach and his mentor from his time success-laden time with Victoria, as the best batting coach he's worked with.
"It’s weird that I hadn’t heard a whole lot about Jeff before I came down here and I’d been in the system for 10 or 11 years," Wade said.
"I hadn’t heard Jeff’s named mentioned which is baffling now that I’ve worked with him because he’s definitely as good a batting coach as I’ve worked with and I rate Greg Shipperd as highly as anyone – he’s (Vaughan) right next to him for me."
Wade's path to taking the field for Australia A in England with the goal of an Ashes berth to follow still isn't clear cut, but for the best possible reason, with he and his wife Julia's second baby on the way.
"Yeah, Cracker’s (Chairman of Australian Selectors Trevor Hohns) been good with that, to be fair," he said.
"We’ve had communication over the last little bit about trying to find the best way if this did eventuate."
"The baby is due in the middle of June and I think the team is due to fly to England at around that time so we’ll have to work it out, but I’ll certainly be getting over there."
Australia A Four-Day fixtures
Tour Match 1 – July 7: Aus A v Sussex, Arundel Castle Cricket Ground, Arundel
Tour Match 2 – July 13: Aus A v England Lions, The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury
Tour Match 3 – July 23: Aus v Australia A, Ageas Bowl, Hampshire
Australia A Four-Day squad
Tim Paine (c) (Tasmania)
Marcus Harris (Victoria)
Kurtis Patterson (New South Wales)
Will Pucovski (Victoria)
Travis Head (vc) (South Australia)
Peter Handscomb (Victoria)
Matthew Wade (Tasmania)
Mitch Marsh (Western Australia)
Michael Neser (Queensland)
Jon Holland (Victoria)
James Pattinson (Victoria)
Jackson Bird (Tasmania)
Josh Hazlewood (vc) (New South Wales)
Chris Tremain (Victoria)