With ample carry on offer, Sri Lanka bowled a touch shorter than the ideal length. McCullum did not mind, slashing through point whether there was width or not, and pulling despite two men lurking in the deep.
His front-foot play would not be outdone either and a vicious six over long-off crowned him as the first New Zealander to score 1000 Test runs in a calendar year.
Sri Lanka’s attempt to stifle him by spin through debutant Tharindu Kaushal backfired as well, with McCullum constantly running at the 23-year old offspinner.
New Zealand’s first Boxing Day Test in 11 years, and Christchurch’s first in eight, was well attended and his bullish knock was exactly what the crowd wanted.
It created severe pressure on Sri Lanka and he fed off the resulting inconsistency to ensure that all four 50-plus scores in 2014 were turned into massive centuries – 224, 302, 202 and 195.