Veteran England seamer Andy Caddick was full of admiration for Matthew Hoggard following the Yorkshireman's 7-61 to defeat South Africa in the fourth Test.
Hoggard collects his Man of the Match award at the Wanderers
Hoggard's match haul of 12-205 was the best by an England bowler for 25 years.
"I couldn't believe what was happening," said Caddick, who has 234 Test wickets and a best of 7-47.
"Full credit to Hoggy, that's a match winning performance and this is what England need, players like that to win matches in unfriendly circumstances."
South Africa coach Ray Jennings also praised Hoggard for his match-winning bowling in Johannesburg.
"He has landed the ball in the right areas, shown a lot of passion and energy and got the results.
"He has the desire to keep on coming. He sent down more than 50 overs here and put other bowlers in the match to shame," Jennings said.
"Matthew's spells have been good the whole series. You can't remember a time when he hasn't put his whole heart into it," Jennings added.
England team-mate Mark Butcher, who had to return home from the tour because of a wrist injury, said Hoggard was a popular figure.
"He's not one of the flashy guys, not one of the guys who stands out," Butcher told BBC Sport.
"But if you look over all his Test performances, he's in there doing a lot of the hard work, bowling into the wind, doing the jobs none of the other guys want to do.
"When a guy like that gets the rewards, comes out on top up with a Man of the Match award, everyone is pleased for them.
"He'll be running around like an idiot, like a dog with two tails, for the next 24 hours until his legs tell him he's tired."
Playing in South Africa earlier in his career was a vital step in Hoggard's development.
Having made his first-class debut for Yorkshire while still a teenager in 1996, he spent two winters with Free State before winning his first Test cap against West Indies at Lord's in July 2000.
He gradually established a reputation as a hard-working, dependable member of the attack, and took 7-63 against New Zealand in Christchurch three years ago.
Hoggard has not always found conditions to his liking and was dropped from the team during the 2002-03 Ashes tour and against in Sri Lanka the following winter.
But the selectors kept faith with him and he was an ever present in 2004 as England won 11 Tests out of 13, including eight in a row.
His performance in Johannesburg improved his record to 141 wickets in 37 Tests at an average of 30.9