In Christchurch Brendon McCullum's final test began with the loss of the toss; his first appearance in the middle after that had him met by an Australian guard of honour.
As McCullum emerged onto the ground, the 8000 full house rose as one and cheered him to the middle.
Once there, the New Zealand skipper was met by two lines of Australian players, clapping and, in opposing captain Steve Smith's case, offering a handshake.
McCullum, in his 101st and final test, didn't have much time to savour the moment, however. Moments later he was taking guard and with his team listing badly at 32 for three after morning of batting attrition.
He was beaten first ball by Josh Hazlewood and had an ugly swish at the second, shaping towards mid wicket and having the ball fly over slips to the boundary.
McCullum was off, but his team badly needed runs.
In his previous test on this ground, McCullum slapped 195 off 134 balls, against Sri Lanka on Boxing Day 2014. What New Zealand wouldn't give for a repeat today.