The ICC World Test Championship Final between India and New Zealand was won by New Zealand, the nation winning their second World title in their history.
The irony is that they did it in the Test Cricket format, a format in which they hold the world record for competing in most matches before winning their maiden victory.
New Zealand were without a triumph in 44 matches before winning their first match. The likes of Bert Sutcliffe, Richard Hadlee, Martin Crowe should be credited massively for New Zealand's rise in Test Cricket.
However, the Kiwi witnessed another downfall in Cape Town on January 2, 2013, when the New Zealand side were summed up for 45, and consequently lost the test with an innings and 27 runs.
The current captain of New Zealand, Kane Williamson was the highest scorer for the Kiwis as Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel disrupted the New Zealand batting.
BJ Watling and Trent Boult were the other two players who were part of the Test defeat against the Proteas and also the World Test Championship Final.
What started from that disastrous loss was a change in culture, change in approach, and change in the attitude of the New Zealand players.
Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand skipper who led the side against South Africa, was an instrumental figure in getting things changed and embarking on a new journey that is hugely responsible for what New Zealand achieved yesterday.
The culture change was visible as we look into their record since their heartbreaking loss against South Africa.
That being said, let's have a look at New Zealand's World Test Championship journey. The series will be home and away with respect to New Zealand.
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka (Away)
New Zealand's start wasn't the best as they lost their first Test against the Lankans. However, the Kiwis bounced back in the second and final test of the series.
New Zealand contrived to get all the Sri Lankan batsmen out at 244. In response, Tom Latham scored an exceptional 154 alongside BJ Watling who fired 105 as New Zealand posted 431-6 on the board in the first innings.
The New Zealand bowlers surpassed their performance in the first innings and got rid of all the host batsmen for 122 and won the match by an innings and 65 runs.
The series ended up as a 1-1 draw.
New Zealand vs Australia (Away)
This time New Zealand were facing the mighty Australians and this time, New Zealand were vanquished in a disappointing fashion.
New Zealand failed to win or draw a single game in the three-match Test series, losing 3-0. Australia won the first Test by 296 runs, second by 247 runs, and the third by 279 runs. The series was a big blow for the Kiwis as far as the World Test Championship was concerned.
New Zealand vs India (Home)
Lately, New Zealand has always been a threat to India, especially in the ICC tournaments, and the story continued despite India's domineering form in the Test format.
This time it was New Zealand's turn to whitewash their adversaries. New Zealand bowled out the Indians for 165 in the first innings and then scored 348. India tried their best but then ended up with only 191 on the board. New Zealand went on to win the match by 10 wickets.
The second test was also in similar circumstances but this time New Zealand were seven runs short of India's 242 in the first innings. However, New Zealand bowled India out just for 124 runs and scored 132 runs as the target, winning the match by seven wickets.
New Zealand vs West Indies (Home)
Another home series, another whitewash but this time it was the West Indies who fell short in the process.
New Zealand won the first Test by an innings and 134 runs after scoring 519 in the first innings and bowling out the visitors for 138 and 247.
The second test was no different as the Kiwis fired 460, courtesy of a Henry Nicholls 174. New Zealand again did the job with the ball brilliantly as West Indies were summed up for 131 and 317, losing the match by an innings and 12 runs.
Kyle Jamieson was the star of the series as he picked 11 wickets in just two games.
New Zealand vs Pakistan (Home)
A virtual semi-final of the ICC World Test Championship, New Zealand hosted Pakistan for a two-match series.
New Zealand won the first Test as a result of a remarkable ton by Kane Williamson as New Zealand registered a total of 431. After bowling out Pakistan for 239 and then scoring 180 in the second innings, New Zealand declared, setting up a target of 373 for Pakistan and got them all out by 271.
New Zealand wins the first match by 101 runs.
The second innings anticipated more challenge from the visitors, but it were the hosts who strengthened their performance and won the second test by a bigger margin.
Pakistan were batting first and they scored 297 in the first innings. As a reply to that, New Zealand registered a gigantic total of 659 for the loss of six wickets, with Kane Williamson scoring 238, while Henry Nicholls scored 157.
Dary Mitchell also scored a vital 102, while Pakistan succumbed to a total of only 186 runs and lost the match by an innings and 176 runs.
Jamieson ended another series on a high, picking 11 scalps, while the skipper, Williamson won the Player of the Series award.
This helped New Zealand to take the top spot in the WTC points table but India's dominant performance against England at home saw them surpass New Zealand in total point to take the top spot, confirming New Zealand as the second finalists.
The second position didn't matter then and it doesn't matter now as New Zealand won the final gracefully in a Test match that saw a lot of weather intervention.
However, it was all well as it ended well for the Kiwis, a perfect gift for a side that lost a World Cup final twice, and a perfect farewell for Ross Taylor, and BJ Watling who played a significant role in their country's cricketing history.
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