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."
17. Oktober 2018
|Essien tells Loftus-Cheek to stay and fight for Chelsea chance|
|Nainggolan relishing challenge of first Milan derby|
|Curry: Slap me if I tire of championship celebrations|
|Sevilla don´t fear Messi or Barca – Kjaer|
|Low: Dropped Muller is still very important for Germany|
|Hayward put ´dark memories´ behind him with Celtics return|
|I hope I´m in Klopp´s good books! - Koeman jokes after resting Wijnaldum|
|Rested Fellaini should be fit for Manchester United, says Martinez|
|France´s mentality must be right - Lloris|
|Bellinger seals dramatic win as Dodgers level up NLCS|
|Curry, Durant lead Warriors past Thunder|
|Kjaer surprised by LaLiga-leading Sevilla as Machin´s men remain grounded|
|A-League preview: Honda the big arrival as fascinating season awaits|
|Mexico 0 Chile 1: Sanchez helps La Roja to late win|
|Celtics too good for 76ers in NBA opener|
|United States 1 Peru 1: Flores salvages late draw for visitors|
|Martinez not worried about Belgium depth|
|Red Sox move ahead of Astros in ALCS|
|Depay ´a joy to watch´, says Koeman|
|Timberwolves owner looking to trade Butler, backs Thibodeau|
|Shepard says Giants have ´total faith´ in Manning|
|Hazard is out of this world – De Ligt enjoys Belgium test|
|Tite: Brazil were better than Argentina|
|Foley eyes World Cup after re-signing with Wallabies, Waratahs|
|Low slams decisive France penalty call|
|I fined him for his goal at Old Trafford! Giggs delighted for Wales hero Wilson|
|Matuidi lauds Deschamps´ tactical nous after Germany win|
|Scaloni excited by Argentina despite Brazil loss|
|Tsonga back in business, Dzumhur dumped out in Moscow|
16. Oktober 2018
|Germany suffer six defeats in a year for first time|
|Many clubs have asked about Piatek - agent|
|Bartomeu: Barca open to defensive reinforcements after Vermaelen injury|
|Bonn spoil PAOK´s landmark European game|
|Konta conquers Mertens in Moscow|
|Republic of Ireland 0 Wales 1: Wilson stunner moves Giggs´ side top|
|France 2 Germany 1: Griezmann delivers Low blow as Les Bleus reign in Paris|
|Belgium 1 Netherlands 1: Groeneveld cancels out Mertens strike|
|Argentina 0 Brazil 1: Miranda heads late winner after rivalry fails to ignite|
|Messi would struggle in this Manchester United team – Scholes|
|Falcons place Devonta Freeman on injured reserve|
|Westbrook ruled out of Thunder opener|
|Wilder´s team open to Joshua talks|
|Brentford appoint Thomas Frank as new head coach|
|England´s perfect performance sets the standard - Trippier|
|Odell Beckham Jr. needs to create headlines on the field, says Giants owner|
|Robshaw joins list of England absentees|
|Chile need goals from Sanchez despite United form - Rueda|
|Modric reveals Ronaldo respect, ´will never play with´ Messi|
|Osaka can be one of the greats, says coach Sascha Bajin|
|Liverpool´s Naby Keita carried off injured in Guinea match|
|Duminy to miss Australia tour for shoulder surgery|
|F1 Raceweek: Ferrari ready to ´challenge the impossible´ as Hamilton nears title|
|Umesh replaces injured Thakur in ODI squad|
|IAAF delay implementation of testosterone ruling amid Semenya challenge|
|Fakhar and Sarfraz lead Pakistan recovery after Lyon blitz|
|Japan see off Uruguay in seven-goal thriller|
|Arda Turan given huge fine by Istanbul Basaksehir after alleged brawl with singer|
|Busquets no better or worse than Dier – does Opta data back up Allardyce claim?|
|United boss Mourinho charged for alleged post-match comments by FA|
|Halep withdraws from Kremlin Cup ahead of WTA Finals|
|Renato Sanches eager for further Bayern Munich minutes|
|Nations League standings: Promotion, relegation and race for finals|
|Windies coach Law banned for ´inappropriate comments´ in India Test|
|Carrick denies Manchester United stars are ´not trying´|
|Ferrari struggling under pressure of chasing Mercedes, says Massa|
|Australia desperately need Smith and Warner back - Warne|
|Draxler warns Germany: Mbappe has 300 hp!|
|Draymond Green says Warriors will have to ´bring it´ every night in the West|
|England´s ´wonderful bravery´ leaves Southgate excited for the future|
|Jayasuriya: I always conduct myself with integrity and transparency|