Adam Gilchrist enters uncharted territory this week as he seeks to expunge the first blemish on his cricketing CV - by facing up to nemesis Andrew Flintoff.
The 33-year-old Australia wicketkeeper/batsman returned home from the Ashes defeat having failed to register a single half-century in five outings and been prised out by Flintoff - master of reverse swing and England's leading wickettaker - on four occasions.
Even in the limited-overs contests - the mode in which Gilchrist and his international colleagues take on the ICC World XI at the start of the Super Series here tomorrow - Gilchrist had only one score in excess of 50 in seven attempts.
He said: "I would like to think I have got more than what I offered in that series to come in the future. I have proved I can do it previously.
" England's bowling restricted what I was able to do; it was a tough, tough series for all batsmen on both sides. They planned well, executed well - and, in particular, 'Freddie' was outstanding.
"Probably in the end I got past him but maybe took my eye off the ball when I was facing Matthew Hoggard and a couple of the others. They won that battle, for sure, and it has given me things to go away and have a look at."
Gilchrist disagrees that he was undone by an extra intensity, saying: "If people think that was the first time I have been under pressure there is a difference in perception and reality. I certainly wasn't taking on any more weight or feeling any differently to other Tests.
"There are phases you go through at different times. But it is how you come out of it, cover it up and not let other people know about it - you deal with the moment if you can.
"On reflection I didn't change too many things, I tried to make subtle differences to combat what Flintoff was doing and I went a little bit negative through the middle of the series just trying to survive a bit, which maybe quelled my attacking instincts too much."
Gilchrist will have a new opening partner, Simon Katich replacing Matthew Hayden, and face a new-ball pairing of Shoaib Akhtar and Shaun Pollock complemented by Flintoff.
"'Freddie' is the most valuable cricketer in the world, or equal with Shane Warne, at the moment," Gilchrist said. "'Freddie' was inspirational in everything he did in the summer - and now it is all done and dusted you can step away and only admire that. It was a lot like Shane was for us."
Like veteran Warne, the 27-year-old Lancastrian is enjoying superstar status in this sports-crazy country and said at the launch of the series yesterday: "It has been quite a nice reception from the public. I was not sure what to expect but it has been really good."
Excitement over the performances of Flintoff and Co during the 2-1 victory has spared Australia too much of a backlash. The fallibility of Ricky Ponting's side seems to have strengthened interest in the sport here.
Gilchrist said: "The general feeling from the public was that they appreciated the quality of cricket - and just as in England, there were so many people who were not normal cricket- watchers who were finding themselves up here watching at two, three, four o'clock in the morning.
"It was such an intense series; it had its peaks and troughs for each team. But England sustained the high quality in the big moments, and that got them over the line.
"Their resurgence has got people talking. People want to know why we have not gone in and whitewashed everything. The challenge is to get the Ashes back."