Justin Langer paid tribute to England's character after Australia endured a tough day in the field in Brisbane.
Pietersen and Collingwood restored pride for England
Opening batsman Langer said he was not surprised by the show of defiance from Paul Collingwood and Kevin Pietersen, who helped England to 293-5 at stumps.
Langer said: "Collingwood adds real fight to the team and Kevin Pietersen is an outstanding Test match player.
"I'm just thankful we broke the partnership and got Freddie Flintoff out before stumps."
England began their second innings with only a remote chance of salvaging a draw after Australia declared with a 647-run lead.
And despite the century stand between Collingwood and Pietersen which put new heart into England, Langer predicted his team would still win the game.
"There's a new ball tomorrow and the wicket can't get any better to bat on. We would have liked to wrap it up today but England are still under massive pressure," he said.
Langer celebrates after his fifth Test century against England
Langer began the day by completing his 23rd Test century, a satisfying answer to critics who had suggested the end of his career might not be too far off.
"I knew from the selectors' point of view, from the captain's point of view and from my team-mates' point of view that I wasn't under any pressure," Langer said.
"But it gets frustrating, the constant speculation. It becomes a bit of a media frenzy and it plays in the back of your mind a bit.
"I like to think my record speaks for itself - not only my record, but my partnership with Matty Hayden - and sometimes when you read the paper you feel like shaking these people and saying 'Don't they know what I've done in the past?'
"All I can do is make runs and I'm thankful I did that for the team."