England stalwart Jimmy Anderson has been hailed for his longevity and drive to continue evolving as he once again produced the goods for his country.
The batting order came under scrutiny once again after another disappointing display, as England limped to 185 all out on day one of the third Ashes Test.
After losing the first two Tests, fans were fearing the worst as Australia were firmly in the driving seat to wrap up the series victory with two more still to play.
But a whitewash is not yet a foregone conclusion, largely thanks to an inspired performance from Anderson as he led an impressive bowling attack which limited the hosts' lead.
The veteran took four wickets for just 33 runs as England bowled the home favourites out for 267 at the MCG, limiting their lead to just 82 runs and keeping the tourists in with a chance of mounting an unlikely comeback.
His former England colleague Mark Ramprakash was effusive in his praise for Anderson after that magnificent performance in Melbourne.
""Even within the cricket world and among professional cricketers, the admiration for him is just incredible," he said on BT Sport.
""It all comes down to attitude, mentality and a pursuit of excellence. He's got great pride in his performance – to represent England means so much to him.
"Four years ago, at the end of the Ashes, he went and did some work with a radio station. [Broadcaster] Dan Norcross was talking to him and saying 'well that's it', and Jimmy was a bit disappointed with that.
"He said 'well no, I can come back in four years' and he was determined to come back and have better memories in four years.
"Unfortunately he may not have got those, but he has shown he can keep evolving and keep learning new tricks.
"I think the greats do that – they don't just rest on their laurels. He will continue to work on angles around the wicket, different grips, things like that.
"He's never stopped learning and he's just a fantastic role model for anyone in that England camp."
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan was also full of praise for Anderson, and tweeted: "We are witnessing sheer greatness in Jimmy Anderson. Enjoy it whilst it lasts as I am not sure English game will see another one like him."
Australia legend Shane Warne would have been less pleased to see such an effective performance, but was not less impressed with what Anderson had managed to do.
"We’ve all seen Jimmy Anderson tour Australia and we’ve seen him bowl in England. I would go as far to say today is the best I’ve seen Jimmy Anderson bowl in Australia," he told Fox Cricket.
"He bowled a couple of good spells with that pink ball a few years ago in Adelaide (2017), but his record’s not great here in Australia.
"Today, I’ve watched him bowl and this is the Jimmy Anderson everyone expects. This is as good as I’ve ever seen him bowl here in Australia.
"His length’s been good, he’s pitched the ball up, he’s beaten the bat, he could’ve had a number of wickets today."
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