Alastair Cook has said the 266-run win over India in the third Test has eased the pressure on him to resign as England captain.
Both Cook and England had suffered a year-long run of poor form, but his innings of 95 and 70 not out helped them end a 10-match winless run.
"It was getting to a crux situation," said Cook, who had averaged 22.10 with the bat over the previous 10 Tests.
"If it had carried on like that who knows what would have happened?"
He added: "One game does not change everything and we know how important my runs are from the top of the order. I don't know if my captaincy got dragged into it but when you are losing there will be focus on it."
England, who have named an unchanged squad for the fourth Test at Old Trafford next Thursday, had not won since the fourth Test against Australia in August 2013, during which time they had lost seven of the 10 Tests they played.
|England's wait for a Test win since August 2013|
|5th Test v Aus (h) drawn||5th Test v Aus (a) lost by 281 runs|
|1st Test v Aus (a) lost by 381 runs||1st Test v SL (h) drawn|
|2nd Test v Aus (a) lost by 218 runs||2nd Test v SL (h) lost by 100 runs|
|3rd Test v Aus (a) lost by 150 runs||1st Test v India (h) drawn|
|4th Test v Aus (a) lost by 8 wkts||2nd Test v India (h) lost by 95 runs|
But after setting India 445 to win, Cook's side bowled the tourists bowled out for 178 before lunch on the final day to leave the five-match series level at 1-1 ahead of the fourth Test at Old Trafford, which begins next Thursday.
Moeen Ali claimed Test-best figures of 6-67 and James Anderson 2-24 to add to five wickets in the first innings.
"We've won a game of cricket and I scored runs. The criticism came when I wasn't scoring runs and we weren't winning," added 29-year-old Cook.
"Over the summer we've shown that we've played some good cricket, but maybe only two sessions out of three. Here, we played to our potential the whole time. We had as good a game as we could have had.
"What's important is that we back it up with consistency of performance, which we have been lacking all summer."
The win also gave Peter Moores his first Test victory in his second spell as England coach, with the former Lancashire boss praising the captain.
"His strength is the tougher it gets, the better he gets," said Moores. "He is totally committed to England. He knows he has areas to improve but to bat and captain so well shows he is evolving for the future."
England may be without Anderson for the next Test, with the pace bowler facing an International Cricket Council disciplinary hearing on Friday.
If he is found guilty of pushing and verbally abusing India's Ravindra Jadeja during the first Test at Trent Bridge, he will receive a minimum two-Test ban.
"My hands are tied," said Cook. "I just hope that, in our eyes, the right decision comes out of it and Jimmy is available for his home Test match."
Lancashire's Anderson, 32, added: "I've no idea if I will be playing at Old Trafford. I honestly don't know what's going to happen, but I want to be playing in my home Test match."
Paceman Liam Plunkett and all-rounder Ben Stokes were the two players left out at Southampton, retain their places in the 13-man squad.
England squad for fourth Test: Alastair Cook (Essex, capt), Sam Robson (Middlesex), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire, wk), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham).