MOISES HENRIQUES had waited more than three years to hear back from national selectors but when the call came on Monday he missed it - and he has vowed not to make the same mistake again later this week.
The former teenage prodigy is set to become the seventh all-rounder to have played for Australia since the new selection panel was formed in late 2011 after being drafted into a 12-man squad for the next two ODIs against Sri Lanka.
Given the Gabba's reputation as a seam-friendly venue, Henriques is a strong chance on Friday to play his first ODI since making a shock debut in India in 2009, and press his claims for a seat on the plane to England for the Ashes.
A call-up for the coming series in India also beckons should he transfer his strong domestic form for NSW into the international arena, though a ticket to England appears the more likely of the two tours for the seam-bowling all-rounder.
Chairman of selectors John Inverarity has made no secret of his wish to find more all-rounders and Shane Watson's wretched recent run with injury, which has forced him to shelve his duties with the ball, has enhanced the urgency. ''As I've stated right through the season … we need all-rounders,'' Inverarity said.
Henriques joins Glenn Maxwell, who has struggled to justify the massive boom placed on him by Inverarity, as Australia's all-round options for the next batch of one-dayers. Others to have been tried at international level are Watson, Dan Christian, Mitch Marsh, James Faulkner and Steve Smith, while Andrew McDonald was also on the verge of a recall until a hamstring injury in November.
''We're really trying to groom Glenn Maxwell as a spin-bowling all-rounder, an obvious interest for India,'' Inverarity said. ''Mitchell Marsh was in the frame some time ago but he's injured. Moises Henriques has been on the horizon for some years and this is his opportunity. We really hope that he'll come on as a seam-bowling all-rounder.''
This summer has already proved to be a breakthrough season for the 25-year-old, who is on track to achieve his goal of not missing a game for NSW and the Sydney Sixers through injury. Among other goals he can tick off are contributing more with bat and ball for his state and hitting his maiden first-class century.
Henriques is averaging 78.5 after four Shield matches this summer and has taken 13 wickets at 17.69. His unbeaten 161 in Perth impressed Inverarity, who was watching from the stands at the WACA Ground.
Henriques received news of his call-up from Inverarity on Monday morning. ''I'd just woken up and missed John's call. I tried to call him back but my service had been disconnected because I hadn't paid a bill so I quickly paid that and got on to him quick smart,'' Henriques said. ''He said congratulations and the opportunity's there for a seam-bowling all-rounder and that it was up to me to take that opportunity.''
Henriques was not expecting a national recall this summer but has attributed his success to taking a more measured approach to his game. ''I used to get really excited when I used to do well and get really down when I didn't,'' he said. ''Now it doesn't affect me as much when I don't do as well and I don't get so excited when I do well. Just to stay on those even emotions has helped a lot.''
■ The Indian cricket board has announced a changed schedule for Australia's four-Test tour starting on February 22. The first Test will now be played in Chennai, followed by Tests in Hyderabad, Mohali and Delhi. Originally the opening Test was to be played in Delhi, followed by Tests in Mohali, Hyderabad and Chennai.