Matt Prior thrived in the specialist batsman's role and warmed up for the third Ashes test with an unbeaten century in England's rain-hit drawn tour match against Victoria on Sunday.
Relieved of his keeping duties, Prior hit a 145-ball 102 before fading light halted play with the tourists 100 runs behind their winning target of 311 with four wickets in hand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Prior, who was replaced behind the stumps by Steve Davies for this match, has managed 0 and 27 not out in the couple of opportunities he got to show his batting prowess in the first two Ashes Tests, so his hundred will come as a boost.
England's quest to find injured Stuart Broad's replacement however, failed to produce a clear-cut favourite. Tim Bresnan managed just one wicket while fellow Ashes hopefuls Chris Tremlett and Ajmal Shahzad toiled without success.
Brief scores: Victoria 1st Innings 216 for 2 decl; England 1st innings 184 for 2 decl; Victoria 2nd innings 278 for 6 decl (R. Carters 68; Collingwood3-19); England 2nd innings 211 for 6 (M.Prior not out 102; McKay 4-68) Match drawn