The wait was getting longer for Ambati Rayudu but he never gave up hope.
When opportunity knocked, the Mumbai Indians batsman lost no time in stamping his class.
The first ODI between India and Zimbabwe saw two outstanding performers in Virat Kohli and Ambati Rayudu.
Rayudu was unbeaten on 63 off 84 deliveries.
The stylish Mumbai batsman was pleased with his ODI debut performance and thanked his idol Sachin Tendulkar and the Mumbai Indians coach Robin Singh, who helped him through the tough days of waiting.
"They've helped me a lot, and I'd definitely like to thank them for that," Rayudu said.
"I always had the belief that if I could get things right and I could get my mind right I could make it into the team one day, and I'm really happy that I got my chance today," he added.
The 27-year-old forged a crucial 159-run partnership with skipper Virat Kohli that guided India to victory.
"It feels marvellous. It's been pretty emotional," he said.
"More than nervous, I was very emotional," he added.
Rayudu lauded Kohli, whose swashbuckling hundred blew away the Zimbabweans.
"I think he's playing the best cricket possible," Rayudu said.
"I definitely feel that he's the best in the world right now in the One-day format. He made it a lot easier for me, and
I was just looking at the way he was constructing his innings. It's a very good learning experience," he added.
Image: Ambati Rayudu
Photograph: Mumbai Indians