With so much talk around Virat Kohli's injury not much discussion had taken place regarding the likely line-up for India.
If Kohli wasn't fit then most had thought that it would be a straight swap with Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer slotting into the middle-order.
Even as the Indian team gathered in a circle an hour before play for the awarding of a cap, it wasn't clear for some time that it was left arm leg-spinner Kuldeep Yadav that was the recipient.
When the teams were announced after the toss India had, in fact, made two changes with Bhuvneshwar Kumar replacing Ishant Sharma. India had chosen to play with five batsmen and five bowlers along with wicket-keeper and century maker in the last Test, Wriddhiman Saha.
The selectors had produced a surprise but the very first ball ever bowled in a Test in Dharamsala showed that they could well be on the money. David Warner slashed at the delivery bowled just wide of off stump by Kumar and Karun Nair couldn't hold on to the chance as he dived to his left at third slip.
Next over India's other Yadav, Umesh, got a delivery to straighten a touch and Matt Renshaw found his off stump lying on the ground as the ball got through his defence. There was plenty of pace and bounce for India's opening pace attack and Kumar was getting it to swing appreciatively, something that won't have been lost on Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.
Warner and Steve Smith were able to counter by using the pace of the ball to score quickly with Smith, in particular, full of confidence in his stroke-play. The pair motored along to take Australia to 1-131 at lunch. Kuldeep Yadav was given a couple of overs to try out his chinamen deliveries before the break and it was a bit of a surprise when he was used again straight afterwards.
It proved to be an inspirational move by Ajinkya Rahane who is standing in as India's captain. He must have seen something that he liked in those first twelve deliveries as the twenty-two year old Yadav bowled a further ten overs straight after the interval and ripped apart Australia's middle order as he took 3-32.
He struck in his first over after lunch when Warner played back to a ball that bounced more than he expected and Rahane took a sharp catch at first slip to break the 134 run second wicket stand.
The ball that he used for the dismissal was learned from Shane Warne: "If you watch the first wicket it was not a chinaman it was a flipper that I learned purely from Warne. So it's fun to learn it from him and then dismiss batsmen from his own country with it.
"Warne is my idol and I have followed him since childhood - even now I watch his videos. When I met him it was a dream come to true to meet and talk to my idol and to learn from him."
Shaun Marsh came and went rather tamely for four when he gloved a shorter ball from Umesh Yadav and was caught behind but it was Kuldeep's next two wickets that really caught the eye.
Peter Handscomb was just settling, using his feet against the spinner just as he had to thwart India's attack for the entire final day of the previous Test to earn Australia a draw. In his tenth over, Yadav tossed one up a little more and as Handscomb came forward the ball dipped on him and then spun through the gap between bat and pad that he had left as he pushed towards the ball.
Two overs after that, his twelfth, Yadav fooled Glenn Maxwell who thought that he was reading the bowler well enough to launch the fourth ball deep over mid-on as he hit with the spin.
Two deliveries later Yadav produced the googly, Maxwell didn't pick it at all and, like Renshaw and Handscomb, found his off stump pinned back. Australia had lost four wickets in the first eighteen overs after lunch for fourty-seven runs.
Matthew Wade was impressed by the debutant, "He bowled a lot of different deliveries. He bowled a lot of leg spinners with a scrambled seam and his wrong-un had a scrambled seam as well so it took a few balls to get used to it."
Through all of this Smith was as resolute and determined as ever. In the fifty-first over he guided a delivery from Kuldeep Yadav to fine leg for four to bring up his third hundred of the series and his twentieth in Tests.
He became the first Australian to achieve that feat and he has now scored an incredible seven centuries in his last fifteen innings against India having reached that landmark four times when the teams played each other in Australia in 2014-15.
It seemed as if it was always going to take something special to dismiss him and it was produced by the ever reliable Ravi Ashwin. As so often happens in India, it was the ball that didn't turn that caused Smith's demise when he had made 111.
Ashwin made two deliveries turn sharply to Matthew Wade earlier in the over but the one that found Smith's outside edge went straight on and the chance was again neatly held by Rahane at slip.
Afterwards, Wade spoke about what it was like to watch Australia's captain in his current form, "It looks that easy for him. I know it's obviously not that easy for him when he's out there but…it looks as if he's playing a different game. He is the best player in the world at the moment but he's on track to be one of the greatest players Australia has ever seen."
It is hard to determine what a par score is on the Dharamsala track. It has helped all of the bowlers with India's pace attack enjoying both swing and bounce while there was turn for all of their spinners. Despite that, Australia managed to accrue 300 with a century from Smith and fifties for both Warner and Wade.
The series started off with Australia making 260 in their first innings in Pune on a difficult wicket and went on to win by 333 runs. It might be that the total that they managed to put together in the first innings of the final Test is equally challenging.
Whilst making 57, Wade noticed that the wicket was offering plenty of assistance to the bowlers, "The cracks are playing a huge role with the spinners as well as the quicks so we'll be looking to get a little bit out of the cracks in the wicket tomorrow."
India's selectors clearly go it right with their inspired inclusion of Kuldeep Yadav who finished with 4-68 but their choices will be examined again as their side includes only five batsmen to take on Australia's attack.