Glenn McGrath backed skipper Ricky Ponting's decision not to enforce the follow-on as Australia turned the screw against England in Brisbane.
Ponting's decision gave McGrath a well-earned rest
They already had a 445-run lead when they began their second innings and extended it to 626 by the close.
"Time was in our favour with two and a half days still to go," said McGrath.
"All the bowlers were ready to go if required, but we thought we'd let the sun get on the wicket a bit more and let the cracks open up a bit more."
The 36-year-old marked his first Test appearance for 11 months with figures of 6-50, the 29th time he has taken five or more wickets in an innings.
He insisted, however, there was still room for improvement.
"I need to go through the crease a bit better but you can't really complain when you walk off with six-for," McGrath said.
"I just tried to be patient and hit good areas. I knew the cracks were there or thereabouts - talking to Ricky Ponting, he said it was hard work batting when you got it in that area and really built pressure up.
"You always try to bowl that perfect game. That's what I'm always aiming for. I don't think I'll ever get there but as long as I keep trying hopefully I'll keep improving."