David Warner paid tribute to Phillip Hughes after peeling off an astonishing Test century at the SCG on Tuesday.
Hughes' shock death during a Sheffield Shield match at the Sydney venue in 2014 continues to occupy the thoughts of countless teammates and friends.
Warner, a long-time teammate of Hughes', held his friend's hand when the South Australia batsman was taken from the field after being struck during a Sheffield Shield match in November 2014
Australia's vice-captain has scored a century in each of the three Tests at the SCG since, where a memorial plaque for Hughes was installed outside Australia's dressing room following his death.
"I've said before, every time I walk out here we've got our little mate walking with us," Warner said on Tuesday, having posted the first ever pre-lunch hundred on day one of a Test match played in Australia.
"It's always in the back of my mind when I walk out here, that he's with me.
"I always think he's at the other end with me, so every time I score runs here or score a hundred, it's always for him."
Hughes' death has changed how players around the world react to bouncer blows and the jarring hit to the grille of Matt Renshaw on Tuesday was the latest example, with Pakistan's fielders rushing up to check on Warner's opening partner.
"There was a lot of concern," Warner said.
"You never ever want to see a player be struck like that."
Warner took less than one session against Pakistan to etch his name alongside greats Don Bradman, Victor Trumper and Charles Macartney as the only Australians to crack a ton before lunch on day one of a Test.
Warner smashed 17 fours in a 78-ball century, becoming just the fifth batsman to hit triple figures in the opening session of a Test.
In doing so, he also bettered the record for fastest Test ton at the SCG which he set almost one year ago on the fifth day of Australia's washed out Test against the West Indies.
But the consistency the vice-captain craves at the highest level failed to transpire in 2016, with last week's effort at the MCG his only other Test hundred for the year.
"I started last year with a hundred here and I started again with a hundred, now I have to really capitalise on that," he said.
"(Leading up to the Boxing Day Test) I was probably stressing because of the high expectations that I set.
"I hadn't scored as many runs as I would have liked.
"I worked as hard as I could in the nets. I was hitting them well in the nets, hitting them well in the one-dayers and just couldn't really work out why I wasn't scoring (Test) runs out in the middle."
The 30-year-old's 18th ton lifts him above Adam Gilchrist and Steve Smith into outright 14th on Australia's all-time list of century-makers, and one behind Mark Taylor and Michael Hussey.