Chris Rogers revealed his confidence was crushed after the second Test at Lord's, when the pressures of Ashes cricket threatened to get the better of him.
The 35-year-old spent 15 years toiling at first-class level for the sweetest of moments on day two of the fourth Test, but it was the final battle before his maiden Test hundred that proved the most difficult.
Rogers said he was deeply affected by criticism he copped for his part in Australia's demoralising capitulation at Lord's, where they were bowled out for 128 in the first innings.
In an instant, Rogers realised that his final opportunity was about to pass him by.
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That was until a brilliant 84 at Old Trafford that potentially saved his career, was backed up by a memorable 101 not out at Chester-le-Street that cemented his place in the team.
It will go down as one of the best fighting hundreds in recent years.
"It was emotional out there, that's for sure. And it has been (along the way)," Rogers said.
"Initially to get picked for Australia was amazing, but the nerves and the things that go with it (were tough to overcome).
"The Lord's Test match, that was as low as I've been for a while, hearing the criticism coming in and feeling like you've let down your country.
"I just needed to clear my head for a while and realise what it is I do well, and that's to fight.
"Fortunately it's worked since then. To play well in the last Test and to back it up in this one means a lot to me."
Rogers' grinding knock off 231 balls in five and a half hours was a beauty.
Given the testing, seaming conditions, it was up there with Michael Clarke's 150 in Cape Town in 2011 and David Warner's second innings century against New Zealand at Hobart that same year.
Rogers said he spent years thinking he would finish his career as the next man in line that never got his turn.
"It felt like there was always one bloke in the way," he said.
"It was those two (Hayden and Langer) then it was Jaquesy (Phil Jaques), then it was Katich, then Phil (Hughes), then Watto (Shane Watson) went and opened.
"I set high standards and I've hoped for this one opportunity. Fortunately it has come along."
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 11 August, 2013 7:43PM AEST