Perth: Seamer Irfan Pathan tormented Australia's top order with his hooping new ball swing in India's memorable third Test win to announce his renaissance as a Test cricketer.
With five wickets and the man-of-the-match accolade, it was a remarkable comeback for Pathan after being an onlooker in India's losses in the first two Tests.
Pathan's previous Test appearance was against Pakistan in December, when he reinforced his claim to being recognised as a genuine all-rounder by making his maiden Test century, but claimed just one wicket.
As the left-hander ripped through Australia's top order in each innings, removing both openers twice, it was hard to believe his career had been at the crossroads a year earlier as he struggled to get the ball to swing.
Pathan had burst onto the scene as a gifted teenager on the previous Australian tour in 2003-2004, but lost his way in 2006 and spent almost 18 months out of the Indian team.
After what he described as a "special" win, the 23-year-old said here late Saturday that the key to his return was simple hard work.
"It was a tough time for me, and I worked hard on my action and game and it's showing up.
"The hard work of the last year is paying off for me now," he said.
"I love bowling with the new ball for my country and in Test matches getting the new ball is special."
Sent home from a tour of South Africa to work on his game at a low point of his career, Pathan admits he was struggling.
"When I was out of the team, I always asked myself when I would play for India again," he said.
"Last year I didn't bowl well and that was the reason why I was dropped.
"I am honest with it, I knew that I had some problems with my action."
He praised the support and tutelage of Indian bowling coach Venkatash Prasad.
"Venky is always talking to us during practice or the match," he said.
"Since he was a pretty good bowler, he understands you.
"If he sees someone just sitting there he will ask questions and offer help."
Pathan also illustrated his value with the bat here, showing impeccable technique and concentration in making an invaluable 46 as a night watchman in India's second innings, as well as 28 in the first innings.
"It was a nice experience batting as a night watchman and I am happy that I made a significant contribution with the bat," he said.