Johannesburg - Despite being earmarked to make his debut for the Proteas in the first Test against the West Indies next Wednesday in Centurion, Stiaan van Zyl is hoping he will get to play more than just a solitary Test against the tourists.
Van Zyl should come in as a direct replacement for the injured JP Duminy - in the number six or seven batting spot.
Duminy, though, could be fit for the second Test in Port Elizabeth and then would likely do duty in the third and final Test in Cape Town early January.
"If coach Russell Domingo tells me the day before that I'm playing in all three Tests, I'll be in a different boat," Van Zyl said in Benoni on Tuesday where the South African Invitation XI were practising ahead of a three-day warm-up game against the West Indians starting on Wednesday.
"Even if I do well, I might not play the second Test if JP comes back.
"What he did before me is just no comparison, so he needs to play.
"I'm normally easy-going so I'll take whatever comes my way and I'll still be over the moon if I play the first Test. But having said that, if you give you me just two Tests I'll maybe be in a different state of mind knowing I'll have four innings."
Van Zyl was the domestic four-day competition's leading run-scorer last season with 933 runs at an average of 58.31.
The season before, he was second on the run-scoring chart with 673 runs, averaging 57.80.
In five Test matches this year, Proteas opener Alviro Petersen has averaged just 20.22 with a highest score of 53 and his spot could be up for grabs if he fails to perform against the West Indies.
Hoping for a break, Van Zyl's long-term plan was to get a good run at the top of the order for his country.
"I had been doing well on the domestic front and, in about 60 percent of the games, I faced the new ball.
"Then with Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis retiring, it was my opportunity.
"I went with the team to Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe and I was a little disappointed not getting a game in Zimbabwe. I was just the backup batter.
"While we were there, Russell had a chat with me and said the only spot that could open up would be the opening spot."