From the time he received a pair of bright orange wicketkeeping gloves as a Kris Kringle Christmas gift from his childhood idol Adam Gilchrist, Harry Nielsen has dreamed of standing behind the stumps in an international game at Adelaide Oval.

Today, the 21-year-old son of former Australia coach and South Australia gloveman Tim Nielsen realised that ambition when he made his first appearance on that most famous turf.

Although neither he, nor his proud dad and mum Bronwyn, who were watching from the sun-soaked outer, could have imagined young Harry would be turning out for the other SA.

The star-laden touring South Africa Proteas.

Nielsen, whose handful of matches for the Redbacks’ Futures League team have not yet taken him to the hallowed surface where his father played so many of his 92 Sheffield Shield games, was keeping wicket for his Premier Cricket club Woodville yesterday afternoon when he received an urgent message.

South Africa’s Test wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock was suffering from a painful viral infection and, despite helping himself to a typically breezy hundred on day one of his team’s tour match against a CA XI at Adelaide Oval, had been deemed too unwell to field.