Alastair Cook almost managed more runs in one innings at the MCG than he did during the entire 2013-14 Ashes.
England coach Trevor Bayliss and captain Joe Root have sworn throughout this summer that the current trip is incomparable to four years ago.
A draw in Melbourne ensures the series scoreline will be different to the 5-0 thumping that Mitchell Johnson engineered four years ago.
Cook's man-of-the-match knock of 244 not out was another salient reminder of the differences.
The veteran, then serving as skipper, scored 246 runs at 24.6 during his previous trip to Australia.
"Good thing my memory is not very good so I can't remember four years ago," Cook quipped.
"The lads have been good on this tour.
"We trained really well. We just haven't quite done ourselves justice on the cricket field. We've had too many people out of form to put Australia under pressure for long periods of time in the first three games."
That changed in Melbourne, where Cook carried his bat and posted the highest Test score by a visiting batsman.
"We weren't quite good enough to get over the line," he said.
"We've got one more chance to get that win in Sydney ... hopefully I'll score a few there."
This will be Cook's final Test series in Australia but he could potentially keep playing until the 2019 Ashes in England.
England's all-time leading run-scorer offered a one-word answer when asked if he was in a better position to answer questions about his future.
"No," he said.