The drums were beating loud for the dumping of Blackcaps opener Martin Guptill before the T20 series against Australia.
And the noose tightened, after the veteran batsman was dismissed for a duck in the game one win in Christchurch.
But a blazing 97 from 50 balls in Dunedin has eased the pressure on the highest runscorer in international T20 cricket history and all-but cemented his spot in the World Cup squad later in the year.
Speaking to Newshub, the 34-year-old says he tried to shut off the outside noise and focus on rediscovering his world-class white-ball batting form.
"You try not to listen to it," Guptill says. "You don't look at social media some days and just go about business.
"I started hitting the ball really well in the nets and I knew if I took that out to the middle, it would serve me well, but form has eluded me in the last little while, so it was nice to spend a little bit of time out there today."
Guptill cracked eight sixes and six fours in a 62-minute stay at the crease, as the Blackcaps set a daunting chase of 220 for the Australians.
That total proved enough - only just - and for Guptill, winning the match was just as satisfying as his return to vintage form.
The Blackcaps lead the five-match series 2-0 and have now won six of their last seven T20 internationals.
"It felt pretty good, but more importantly, we got the win to go 2-0 up and that's what we were looking for today.
"My job is to get the team off to a good start, and that will come off some days and some days it won't. Luckily for me today, it came and that helped to get the win."
But the Aussies almost pulled off a stunning late-innings fightback, thanks to Marcus Stoinis and Daniel Sams.
The pair added 92 in six overs of incredible power-hitting that threatened to leave New Zealand blushing.
But Jimmy Neesham broke the partnership with the first ball of the final over, removing Sams, before claiming the scalp of Stoinis a few balls later.
"'Stoin' is a big man and he hits the ball hard and far," says Guptill. "He almost did it to us in Auckland once before and almost pulled it off today, but luckily we got him out towards the end.
"We knew we would have to bowl well on a small ground and with a pretty decent wicket, it was always going to be tough to defend, but the boys held their nerve at the end."
The two sides have a few days off, before reassembling in Wellington on Monday for Wednesday's third match at the Sky Stadium.
And for Guptill, that means family time with recent arrival Theodore (Teddy) - the second child for him and wife Laura McGoldrick.
"He [Teddy] probably slept through the whole innings and missed it all, but I guess that's what happens when they are a week old.
"I'm looking forward to heading home and having a few days off, before cracking back into it on Monday."
Join us on Wednesday for live updates of the third Blackcaps v Australia T20 match