In 2011 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with the hosts heading for an innings defeat and 3-1 Ashes series loss, his elegant strokes were a light in a very dark sky for Australia. Although he has not always been able to live up to the high expectations aroused by that innings, on Saturday he was a batsman at the very top of his game as he notched up 171 runs to put Australia on course for a 4-0 series triumph.