The burning question must be: how is Ross Taylor getting on in the New Zealand set-up these days?
"It was a little strange now and then because I didn't know what to expect but it's just another team that I played with," Taylor said yesterday at McLean Park, Napier, before today's second one-day international cricket match against the touring England team.
"I'm looking forward to hopefully concentrating more on the team performance," the Devon Hotel Central Districts Stags batsman said after he was unceremoniously dumped as captain of the Black Caps.
He had stood down from the topsy-turvy tour of South Africa amid trials by media over his relationship with coach Mike Hesson.
And what about the load off the field?
"I need a lot of tickets because I have a lot of family and friends coming here to watch the game, so I haven't seen them for a while."
Asked how many tickets he was entitled to and if someone was going to be packing a sad in missing out, a grinning Taylor replied: "Not enough but I'll try my best to get them all one."
An intensely family man, his parents, Neil and Anne, follow his career intently from Masterton, quite often attending fixtures in Napier and Wellington, not to mention a swag of friends and his uncle and aunt who live in Havelock North.
One person missing will be his paternal grandmother, Sylvia, who died days before he raised his willow skywards to dedicate his century in his most recent test, his last as national captain.
Yesterday he recognised his affiliation with a venue where his parents saw him hobble off in January last year after adding just 27 runs for an unbeaten 111 in the rain-interrupted one-off test against Zimbabwe.
"I don't want to get too carried away but in the past, it has been a friendly ground for me and the people of Hawke's Bay have always been good to me, so hopefully I can continue from where I left off."
Taylor said it was a fair assumption of where he was with his batting since his self-imposed lay-off.
"I'm not batting as well as I would like or [perhaps more like] not getting runs.
"I think I started feeling a lot better in the last game but, you know, there's still a long way to go in the series so I know what to expect."
Taylor expected a nice, flat bouncy wicket today.
"If you get yourself in, then you can give yourself a good chance to score yourself some runs."
He laughed off suggestions of a few tips from head groundsman Phil Stoyanoff at the ground.
"Phil's been here for a long time and he's been a very good friend, so there's no secrets here that he hasn't told me in the past."
While batsmen always wanted to score runs regardless of whether it was Twenty20 or ODI games, Taylor felt test cricket remained the ultimate.
"There's a lot riding on the test-match series - the Barmy Army and England are the second best team in the world, so it's good to test yourself against the best."
Having said that, the Stags batsman said last Sunday's opening ODI match in Hamilton was the most exciting match of the tour.
"258 playing 259 is a pretty good game of cricket and it was thrilling throughout the whole time," he said amid calls from some detractors who believe T20 cricket has sounded the death knell of the limited-over (50-over) version in the excitement stakes.
"People talk about the boring period but I just thought it was an exciting game as a player and I'm sure the spectators enjoyed it as well."
Taylor said T20 often pushed batsmen down the middle order so much they didn't find time to get themselves in for a decent knock.
"In one-day cricket, you get a little bit more time and a few more starters. With the new rules, in the middle order, you can afford to give yourself a little more time because you know when the field is pushed up, you can catch up a little later on."
With Tim Southee coming back into Hesson and captain Brendon McCullum's equations, it'll be interesting to see if he and Trent Boult will be starters at the expense of an allrounder or spinner, although the drought-like summer will mean driveway-like bounce.