Alastair Cook has revealed he feared the axe from England's selectors prior to his record-breaking double-hundred in Melbourne.
Cook ended day three of the fourth Ashes Test unbeaten on 244, the highest score by a visiting player at the MCG, having failed to pass 50 in any of his previous 10 innings.
Asked if he was worried about losing his place, the opener was quoted by the Guardian as saying: "You don't know, do you? I would have been entitled to be dropped just because I literally hadn't scored a run since Edgbaston [when he made 243 in a Test against Pakistan].
"I always feel as though I have the backing of the selectors. But you've still got to deliver the goods and I hadn't done that on this tour. It was very frustrating."
Leading by 164 on 491-9, England are well placed to record victory having lost the first three Tests and the Ashes urn.
Cook admitted to mixed feelings, adding: "I'm quite proud, going to the well again and delivering a performance. It's just a shame it's four weeks too late.
"I'll have to live with that for a long time."