Nasser Hussain is aiming to build on his unbeaten 108 and steer England into a match-winning position when play resumes in the third Test against South Africa on Friday.
The former England captain said he was relieved to hit his 13th Test ton then vowed to fight on as long as possible for his country.
Hussain and Mark Butcher (106) had hauled England back into contention after the hosts were reduced to 29-2.
And at the end of the day's play England were in a commanding position for the first time in the series on 296-3.
Celebrating his century, Hussain also gestured towards the media centre in response to criticism from some quarters about his contribution to the team.
Hussain, who dramatically resigned as England skipper after the first Test and then looked out-of-sorts in the mauling at Lord's, said:
"It was just a release of a bit of frustration developed over the last few
"A lot has gone on in my mind and I had to dig deep to get a hundred out of
"People know I am always in there for a fight, fighting for my country and
you still feel after four-and-half years of showing everyone how much you care and want to do well, that you have to keep doing that.
"But that is what keeps me going and I will keep doing it as long as I
On reaching three figures, he added: "I was quite nervous actually, I am not
usually nervous in the 90s but the hundred was a big thing for me today.
"I had to put my bat up again, people kept shouting 'keep going Nasser' and
for the English crowd to turn up like they did after the performance we put in
at Lord's and get behind us like they did lifted me and would have lifted Butch
"This is probably my normal type of Test hundred, I am a bloke who has to
work hard for every run, especially on a wicket like that."
Critics had debated whether Hussain was worth his place having given up the
But Butcher, whose 106 was his third Test ton of the year and eighth in all,
insisted that was when the Essex batsman was at his most dangerous.
"In the build-up to the game he has been in the nets four or five times to my
one and really worked hard," said Butcher.
"As soon as the vultures start circling for him you know there is a very good
chance he is going to come up with something good.
"He wanted to prove it to people who were getting on his back a bit and also
to himself; it was testament to his will and strength of character he did what
he did today."
Unlike Lord's, Butcher and Hussain managed to dig in and prevent a
middle-order capitulation despite the South African fast bowlers finding some
prodigious movement both through the air and off the pitch.
"When the South Africans get a sniff they can be very dangerous, so we kept
imagining what it would be like with another couple of wickets on the board and
drove each other on," conceded Butcher.
England resume on Friday morning with debutant Ed Smith unbeaten on 40, on what Hussain
says is an "ugly wicket" covered in "grooves and cracks".