McCullum drew the curtain on his illustrious career after a 2-0 series defeat as Australia wrapped up the second Test by seven wickets in Christchurch — but not before yet another feat for the ages from the prodigious bat of the Black Caps captain. “Hopefully I’ve left and brought some fun and enjoyment and some real culture back into the set-up in the time that I’ve had as captain,” McCullum said on Wednesday. He doubts that he will go down as one of cricket’s greats and, taken in isolation, his final batting average of 38.64 with 6,453 runs from 101 Tests suggests he may be right. But the 34-year-old has never been just a batsman, nor just a wicketkeeper-batsman in his early days. Whenever he strode to the middle there was an expectant murmur in the crowd and doubt among the bowlers.

“You walk away knowing that you’ve been able to front up and try to go out there and get a performance on the board and I guess now you’re a little bit relieved,” he said, after leaving the field for the last time.