Usman Khawaja feels his heroic hundred for Australia in the first Test against Pakistan was rich reward for the hard work he has put in during his career.
The batsman followed up his first-innings 85 with 141 second time around, helping the tourists stand firm on the final day of the series opener to secure an unlikely draw.
Khawaja has been criticised in the past for his relaxed demeanour and a perceived inability to play against spin, yet the left-hander demonstrated he has both the talent and temperament to succeed in tough circumstances during his match-defining knock in Dubai.
While not quite able to see Australia to safety, the 31-year-old's defiance laid the platform for captain Tim Paine to combine with the tail to repel Pakistan's bowlers in a gripping finish to the game.
"A lot of work goes into playing cricket at the highest level. I've worked as hard as anyone," Khawaja told the media.
"I've worked my backside off for the last 10 years in first-class cricket, day in, day out. People don't think that because of my relaxed nature. They think I've been gifted to be able to get to where I am. But that's not the case.
"I've worked as hard as I can in different conditions, like here and in England. People overlook that kind of stuff, but you don't get to play at this level without putting in the hard yards.
"There is no secret to success - just hard work. I was just grateful to be out there playing for Australia, getting a hundred for Australia. Any time you get a hundred it's a great feeling."
That is a magnificent effort by our boys in the baggy green. Great fighting qualities and Khawaja one of the best tons you will ever see. #cmon— Mark Waugh (@juniorwaugh349) October 11, 2018
While occupying the crease was crucial to his side's survival hopes, Khawaja kept a positive mindset throughout, rather than letting the match situation alter his usual approach to batting.
"I was just batting like it was any other innings, no matter whether it was a fourth innings and we were trying to save the game. I knew if I went away from just trying to bat I was more likely to get out in those conditions," he added.
"We were pretty positive the whole way through, even when trying to save the game. It was more of a mindset thing to stay positive, because you know in these conditions that once you worry about blocking it out, it can become quite tough."
Paine - who finished unbeaten on 61 from 194 deliveries - praised the way Australia fought back after losing 10 wickets for 60 runs in their first innings on the third day.
"Coming from where we came from after the collapse on day three, I'm really proud of the whole group. They stuck to their plans and kept digging in," the wicketkeeper-batsman said.
"I'm also extremely proud of Usman as well…one of the great Test innings.
"We spoke pre-series about the need to really fight here and show real patience. It's one thing to talk about it, it's another to do it after a 60 for 10 collapse. That can shake a few peoples' belief.
"We never lost hope we could do that [save the game]. There were a few times when I thought it was just a dream, but we dug in to play a brand of cricket the Australian team want to play."
23. Januar 2019
|Palace keeper Hennessey charged over Instagram post|
|Chelsea warn supporters over anti-Semitic chanting ahead of Tottenham EFL Cup tie|
|Joshua primed to make call on next opponent|
|Super Bowl LIII: Brady v Goff|
|Sala search suspended as Cardiff chairman confirms club wanted different travel arrangements|
|Cruyff, Koeman, Kluivert - De Jong following pantheon of Dutch Barca greats|
|Sarfraz apologises for comments picked up by stump mic|
|Djokovic: Pouille deserves top-10 spot|
|Hazard must be more demanding if he wants to leave Chelsea, says Ballack|
|Celtics´ Kyrie Irving to sit out Cavs game with flu-like symptoms|
|Barcelona seal €86m De Jong deal|
|Vietnam v Japan: Moriyasu happy to keep doing just enough|
|Hendricks, De Kock and Steyn join up with Proteas squad|
|Lorenzo excited for ´new level´ at Repsol Honda|
|Fernando replaces injured Pradeep in Sri Lanka squad|
|China v Iran: Queiroz wants to exorcise 2015 quarter-final|
|Balotelli joins Marseille until the end of the season|
|Emery gives Monchi ringing endorsement amid Arsenal sporting director links|
|Larry Fitzgerald returning to Cardinals on one-year deal|
|Watson absence ´an opportunity´ for Scotland hopefuls, says Townsend|
|Pochettino open to new signings but Janssen to remain a Spurs outcast|
|´No trace´ of aircraft so far in Sala search|
|Pochettino will not judge Sarri for criticising Chelsea players|
|From front row to four in a row - Best takes on Farrell at Connect 4|
|Hazard an individual, not a leader - Sarri urges Chelsea star to do more|
|Broad left out of England team for first Test|
|Higuain set to sign for Chelsea but won´t face Tottenham – Sarri|
|McGillvary injury blow for Giants|
|Solari praises Marcelo amid exit rumours|
|A-League Review: Joy and pain for De Jong as Sydney close gap|
|Halfpenny, Davies and Williams set to miss France clash|
|India to rest Kohli from back end of New Zealand tour|
|The hand is good - Farrell expects to be fit to face Ireland|
|Martinez leaves Arsenal for Reading loan|
|Beckham becomes Salford City shareholder|
|Maradona hopes Sala will be found alive|
|Djokovic will not discuss potential Nadal showdown yet|
|A Federer-Nadal double? Even historic scalps may not be enough for Tsitsipas|
|Raonic to assess knee injury, hopes to avoid surgery|
|Barcelona right to fine ´complicated´ Dembele, says Ter Stegen|
|Higuain and Piatek on the move on busy day for Milan|
|Philippe and Vince humble the Hurricanes|
|Nishikori: I couldn´t beat anybody on one leg|
|Boateng poised for debut as Barcelona axe Suarez|
|Shami sets record in crushing win after sun stops play|
|Sala search focused on possible use of life raft|
|Pouille exceeds own expectations with run to Aus Open semis|
|Nishikori retirement sees Djokovic through to semi-finals|
|A golden boy, a guy you want to love - Delecroix pays emotional tribute to Sala|
|Richardson, Patterson to make Australia debuts against Sri Lanka|
|Police resume search for missing Sala plane|
|Pouille upsets Raonic to reach Australian Open semis|
|Dunk sees Stars past Strikers|
|How Serena gave up 5-1 lead – the key moments of loss to Pliskova|
|Pliskova enjoys ´best comeback´ after stunning Serena|
|Serena not blaming ankle injury for Australian Open loss|
|Mavericks capitalise on Clippers´ turnovers, pick up win in Smith´s return|
|Pliskova saves four match points to stun Serena with comeback win|
|Anthony ´can only make´ a team better, says Iverson|
|Henry more worried about Monaco´s future than his own|
|Osaka powers past Svitolina in Melbourne|
|Harden on Anthony trade: It kind of sucks that it didn´t work out|
|Redskins remain ´optimistic´ QB Alex Smith will play again|
|Patriots coach Belichick says Rams´ Donald is ´pretty much unblockable´|
|PSG fined €100,000 by LFP over player-recruitment practices|
|I´m not his father - Guardiola demands Mendy matures|
|Sykes record in vain as Banvit claim victory|
22. Januar 2019
|Usain Bolt calls time on football career|
|Otamendi not happy at Man City, says Guardiola|
|Workaholic Woods learning to rest as he prepares for 2019 debut|