JP Duminy was considering Test retirement in January but the South Africa all-rounder was talked out of it by Ashwell Prince.
Duminy scored his fifth Test century on Saturday before being dismissed for 141 as South Africa built a lead of 388 against Australia in the first Test at the WACA.
But it was a different story back in January, when he was dropped for the second Test of a four-match series with England having gone 12 innings without a hundred - only going past 50 once in that spell.
Former Proteas middle-order batsman Prince, who was a selector at the time, told ESPNcricinfo: "When he was dropped in January, he was considering retiring from Test cricket.
"He had the conversation with me because the convener of selectors was not at the Cape Town Test, so I had to go and take him the news that he won't be playing.
"At that time, he was at a real low point and he was being honest and giving his feelings. As a selector, and with him being an important player to South African cricket, you try and convince him to think about it.
"I'm sure when he thinks back about that conversation this afternoon or this evening, he will know how he was feeling then and with the feeling he is having now, he will be happy that he carried on.
"It's difficult to pinpoint exactly what it was but he was out of form. With the type of calendar that they have these days, he has got a young baby, a young family, all that might have played a role.
"I was talking to him as a friend, rather than a selector. I was making him understand how important Test cricket is for a player.
"You can play hundreds of ODIs and T20 and make millions but when you are done playing, you always think about what you did in the Test match arena. You can play fifty ODIs quickly and not remember anything. These type of performances, that's what the game is all about."
Duminy informed Prince he needed a break but then decided to play a franchise first-class match for Cape Cobras in which he posted a career-best 260 not out before being recalled by South Africa.
"I don't know what changed from him wanting a break and then playing in that match but he got 250 straight away and I think the next Test he was back in," Prince added.