Blackcaps test squad member Will Young is relishing his time facing international opposition with the New Zealand A side and hopes his form is good enough to make his long-awaited test debut in the upcoming series against the West Indies.
Young struck an unbeaten 64 on the final day of their tour match against the West Indies in Queenstown, with the match declared a draw. NZ A finished on 124/1 in their second innings.
New Blackcap Devon Conway finished unbeaten on 41, sharing an unbeaten 97-run partnership with Young.
The home team dominated proceedings on Friday, amassing 308/3 declared, but the tourists responded with 366.
Speaking to Newshub, Young said he's hopeful of finally making his test debut, which should have happened last year when he was named in the Blackcaps' XI to face Bangladesh, only for the test to be cancelled due to the Christchurch shootings in March last year.
He was named as a reserve player for last year's Cricket World Cup but opted for shoulder surgery instead.
"It was a fantastic opportunity not only for the West Indies but for the likes of myself who hasn't played against the West Indies before," he said.
"It was nice to get a feel of how they play the game and face their bowlers.
"The wicket was slightly different to what the test wicket might be like and I bet my bottom dollar the wicket will be greener in the tests.
"It was awesome being named in the test squad but at some stage, I want to get a run so I have to score as many runs as possible.
"We will have to wait and see if I get a run or not, but I'm happy to be included in the squad."
Young will get another chance to push his claim for the test team when the NZ A and the West Indies begin their four-day test in Queenstown.
"There is nothing being out there and facing them in the middle and getting in the fight against these guys," said Young.
"Everyone is fairly excited to be playing cricket, and the West Indies guys have been in quarantine and they bring lots of energy to the game.
"At the moment it's red-ball cricket, but just around the corner will be while ball cricket, so whatever format I have to put as many runs up as possible."
The Blackcaps get their season underway on Friday when they face the West Indies in the first of three Twenty20s in Auckland, ahead of the first test starting on December 3.
Join us on November 27 for live updates of the Blackcaps v West Indies T20 series.