Chris Rogers admitted his brilliant 84 on Thursday was motivated by a feeling he was playing for his Test career.
The 35-year-old was called out of the blue to return for this Ashes series but, after waiting so long for another opportunity, Rogers knows better than anyone how quickly it can be taken away.
Rogers played one Test in 2008 against India and, in his latest opportunity this series, he's struggled to take the bull by the horns.
But on day one at Old Trafford, the left-handed veteran stood up to be counted.
He played with sheer intent, dismissing his reputation as a county cricket accumulator.
QUICK SINGLE: Old Trafford Day One Wrap
Rogers scored his 50 at better than a run-a-ball, sending England spearhead James Anderson to the fence three times in one over and playing beautifully down the wicket and through cover.
During the week, Rogers conceded he might only be one bad match away from being dropped.
But instead of playing with the weight of the world on his shoulders, he came out to make a point.
Rogers said he was aware the third Ashes Test could be curtains for his international career.
"In some respects, yeah. My performances haven't been anything to write home about," he said.
"I knew if I had a bad Test, I would be under pressure. As I said a couple of days ago, I'm not naive enough to think that if I don't score runs, I'll still be in the side."
Rogers and fellow opener Shane Watson put on 76 for the first wicket to prove there was sense to their sabbatical in London during the week while teammates played a tour match in Hove.
For the first time, Rogers set the pace smashing 14 boundaries, while Watson played with caution.
The journeyman said he wanted to show what he could do.
"Every now and again, those days happen," Rogers said.
"And for me I think I wanted to show people that I can play an innings like that.
"I'm not just a guy who will try to eat up time.
"I felt a lot better today and had a positive mindset and fortunately it worked."
Watson was out for 19, edging a gem of a delivery from Tim Bresnan.
Under pressure for being out lbw for three consecutive innings, Watson appeared deliberately subdued in his approach and Rogers said his partner was unlucky.
"I saw what Shane was working at and I think he was better today with what he was trying to do and got a good ball," he said.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 02 August, 2013 7:42AM AEDT