England captain Joe Root revealed his recent lean patch had left him irritated rather than worried after returning to form with a titanic 226 in the second Test against New Zealand.
There were question marks over whether leading the side was hindering Root's batting as his average stood at 27.4 in his 10 previous Tests this year, but his double hundred on day four at Hamilton was his first on foreign soil.
It was also his highest score since assuming the captaincy nearly three years ago while he becomes the first visiting skipper to reach 200 in New Zealand, which has set up a slim prospect of a series-levelling victory.
Root said: "I've always felt like it was close. It's been more of a frustration that it's not really happened rather than a worry. It's obviously very pleasing but ultimately it would be nice for it to really mean something.
"I've felt like my game has been pretty much there, you just sometimes need a bit behind you and a few extra runs.
"It's the business we're in, unfortunately, sometimes you can be playing as well as you want but you need the scores; it's what wins you games."
The docile nature of the Seddon Park surface led to Root battling hard and the 441 balls he faced and 636 minutes he spent at the crease meant it was the longest innings of his career.
Root added: "I found a really good rhythm out there and felt pretty comfortable and just wanted to keep going.
"It's been a while since I've had that amount of time out in the middle and you get really hungry for it sometimes. I felt like I got a groove going and wanted to keep it going as long as I could.
"I've been picking my hands up nicely this week and felt more like my normal self when I'm playing well. I felt busy at the crease and had a real good intent to score.
"It wasn't quite as free-flowing as it has been in the past but I don't think that was due to lack of mindset or anything like that, it was more the conditions, the nature of the pitch and the slower outfield."
Root moved into England's all-time top 10 Test run-scorers, leapfrogging Wally Hammond, shortly before getting to his third double ton in Tests.
He had Ollie Pope for company for almost all of his time at the crease on the penultimate day. The pair put on a 193-run stand in 62.3 overs, with the Surrey youngster contributing a Test-best 75.
Pope boasted a remarkable first-class average of 57.52 in 34 matches before this Test while his strike-rate of 63.61 indicates a fluent batsman, but Root was impressed by his junior partner's assessment of the situation here.
Root said: "He played extremely well. You look at the way Ollie plays and has played for Surrey in county cricket; he's very free-flowing, someone that scores quite quickly and likes to put pressure on bowlers.
"I thought at times he realised it was a slow pitch and not as free-scoring as you might find around the world and what you might get in county cricket, but he showed a lot maturity in the way he went about it.
"I thought he read the situation really well, showed great maturity and I'm really pleased for him to get a good contribution in this innings."
The union was a major factor in turning a 106-run deficit at the start of the day into a first-innings lead of 101, although the Black Caps went to stumps on 96 for two, almost wiping out the arrears.
The nature of the surface plus the forecast for rain for much of day five meant a draw was the likeliest outcome, which would hand New Zealand a 1-0 series win following last week's defeat of England at Mount Maunganui.