Perth - New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum hailed the resilience of his side after they fought out a draw with Australia in the second Test at the WACA Ground.
The Kiwis were set 321 off 48 overs to win and elected not to take up the chase, and were 108/2 in their second innings when an early finish was called.
Having been beaten by 208 runs in the first Test at the Gabba, the Kiwis were staring down the barrel of another horror result when Australia finished the first day at 416/2 after winning the toss and batting.
However, the visitors fought back to lead by 65 runs on the first innings on the back of knocks from Ross Taylor (290) and Kane Williamson (166).
On occasion, over the last couple of days, McCullum started to think the Kiwis might snatch a remarkable comeback victory.
However, McCullum said he was ultimately satisfied with an honourable draw.
"It is satisfying when you fight your way back from being as far back in the game as we were," he said
"To come out of it after five days with not just a draw, but a pretty encouraging sign of the steel and resolve and backbone in this side.
"It would have been easy for us to fall over."
McCullum paid tribute to Taylor and Williamson, saying he believed the Kiwis had regained any respect lost with the first Test capitulation.
"Whilst the margin in the first game was reflective of that match, I didn't think it was reflective of the gulf between the two teams," he said.
McCullum also took the time to praise Australian paceman Mitchell Johnson, who retired from international cricket after the match.
The Kiwis formed a guard of honour when Johnson strode to the crease in the Australian second innings and he and McCullum shook hands.
"He made an incredible difference to this game during the years he played," McCullum said.
"The amount of criticism he took over the course of his career as well, to withstand that and stay strong to his values and go out there and take wickets for Australia is testament to his character."