Steven Finn is hoping a month spent in New Zealand can prove time well spent, on his arrival in the United Arab Emirates.
Finn knows that realistically, despite impressing so many with his one-day international performances on England's otherwise hapless tour of India in October, he is down the pecking order among his country's Test match pace bowlers.
The 22-year-old will have to leapfrog Tim Bresnan and probably Chris Tremlett too, to join Stuart Broad and James Anderson in a three-man seam contingent for three Tests against Pakistan this month and next.
But Finn, who flew from Kolkata after England's Twenty20 win over India to play four matches for Otago Volts before Christmas, is confident he has done and will continue to do all he can to get back into the team.
"It was a nice month to go and hone everything I'd worked on in India and the previous season, and a great opportunity for me to go and just play some cricket for a month," he said of his trip to New Zealand.
"It was a great experience for me, and I feel like I've learned a lot from it."
Conditions in New Zealand could hardly be described as akin to those in Asia. But Finn, speaking before the second net practice of England's eight-week tour of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, reports there were more similarities than might be expected.
"The wickets were quite slow and low, so it was good to go and get some practice on those sorts of wickets," he said.
"It was just a good chance for me to go and do a lot of bowling. I bowled 140 overs in the four games.
"It was something I really wanted to do personally, and the satisfaction I got from going over there was great."
Bresnan appears unlikely to play in England's first warm-up match against an ICC Affiliate and Associate XI on Saturday, having suffered minor discomfort at nets yesterday following surgery on his right elbow a month ago.
Bresnan did not train with his team-mates today and was instead prescribed rest. But a team spokesman was at pains to stress England's medical staff are neither surprised nor concerned yet about Bresnan's level of fitness.
"He is unlikely to play in the first tour match," she said.
"But there is no great concern about it at this stage."