A good example: Matthew Hayden. Photo: Anthony Johnson
Stockpiling domestic runs has not been a problem for Phil Hughes and Usman Khawaja in the past, which is why the dumped Australian batsmen now face a complicated road back to Test cricket.
Former Australian captain Mark Taylor says the pair should be looking at Matt Hayden's career transformation from limited shot-maker to awesome run machine as inspiration.
Both Hughes and Khawaja lost the confidence of selectors in England this year, left out of the fifth Test at The Oval, with bowling all-rounder James Faulkner preferred for a Test debut.
It would appear both are back in the queue leading into the Ashes opener in Brisbane on November 21.
Big scores are of course important, but the left-handed duo's inability so far to grasp opportunities at international level means Sheffield Shield runs this season will not necessarily result in a Test recall.
And even if another call does come, staying in the team cannot be guaranteed while current weaknesses, particularly against spin bowling, remain.
Hughes and Khawaja must prove to selectors that something substantial has changed. Hayden was in and out of the Australian side through the 1990s and averaged just 24 from his first 13 Tests before working tirelessly to improve his handling of spin bowling in particular.
The result was a breakout campaign against India in 2001 when he scored more runs than any Australian in a three-match series, a performance that catapulted him into becoming one of the great opening batsmen of all time.
Taylor says Hughes, 24, and Khawaja, 26, have the time and ability to do the same before their next opportunity arrives.
''When Matt Hayden got that next chance, he went, 'OK, bang. I'm going to make some big runs','' Taylor said.
''He wasn't a good player of spin bowling. But he went away and said, 'I'm going to play spin bowling this way'.
''He worked on his sweep shot, he worked on being more aggressive against the spinners and, all of a sudden, he made 500 runs and got rid of the demons and the stigma he couldn't play slow bowling.
''That's what Hughes and Khawaja have to do.''
Khawaja is an excellent player of fast bowling but was found out by England spinner Graeme Swann in Britain.
Hughes has been unlucky in the sense he has been moved up and down the order and has not been able to find a home.
But he has not done enough to demand selection, with spin and the moving ball taking turns to unravel him.