Cape Town - Temba Bavuma says the time away from the Test side during the England series gave him an opportunity to reflect and work on his batting.
The 29-year-old played one of his best knocks in Proteas colours on Tuesday with a beautifully crafted 98 (103) that helped his side to a seven-wicket win in the first ODI against the world champions at Newlands.
It means that Bavuma has now amassed 259 runs at an average of 86.33 in the three ODIs he has played since making his debut against Ireland in 2016.
And while he was sitting on top of the world on Tuesday, it's been a tough start to 2020 for Bavuma after he was dropped from the Test side ahead of the Newlands New Year's Test.
"A lot has happened, for the good and the bad," Bavuma said at his post-match press conference on Tuesday evening.
"A month before, if I could say at the end of the Mzansi Super League, I wouldn't have thought things would have panned out the way they have happened.
"The time away from the team has given me time to reflect and to look at my game and realign myself with my goals and where I'd like to go in my personal ambitions.
"I've had to find the strength and courage to keep tugging along and keep enjoying the game."
A career-best knock of 180 on Lions duty last month saw bavuma eventually recalled to the Test squad, while his innings on Tuesday will go a long way towards reminding South Africans exactly what he is capable of.
According to Bavuma, new Proteas batting consultant Jacques Kallis has been influential.
"Jacques has been pretty much hands on with most of the batters," Bavuma said.
"He has been very open in sharing his knowledge and his expertise. It's been a breath of fresh air working with him.
"Technically, there is nobody who knows more than him so we've tried to feed off him as much as we can.
"It's been wonderful so far working with him."
Having been in and out of the Test side and having been awarded just three ODI caps in four years, Bavuma has seen enough to not take anything for granted.
"I don't think I've nailed my place in the side," he said.
"I don't know what's going to happen after this series. I don't know what's going to happen next week, so for me it's just to enjoy the little moments I have at this point in time and keep doing my best.
"It was just good to be on the field. That might sound a bit indifferent, but for me just being on the field again and running around with the guys was good.
"It was a different format as well and a different type of pressure. I felt like I was a kid with no burden out there, just trying to enjoy this game of cricket."