If you thought for a moment that this was like any other win for Australia, think again. It was so special, so rare, that Steven Smith knew to the day the length of the drought his men had broken. "We haven't won a game here for 4502 days," he said after Australia's triumph in Pune. The number rolled easily off his tongue in every interview. It might be imprinted in his brain forever.

When Australia last won a Test in India - in late 2004 - Smith was 15 years old, Matt Renshaw was an eight-year-old English boy living in New Zealand, Mitchell Starc was a 14-year-old wicketkeeper, and Steve O'Keefe was a 19-year-old yet to make his first-class debut.

Here, Smith made a century he will remember for the rest of his life, Renshaw scored more runs than any Indian batsman, Starc scored more runs than any Indian batsman (to go with a couple of important wickets), and O'Keefe gained better figures than any visiting spinner had ever before achieved in a Test in India.

And all of this on a pitch that should have suited India. "It was one of the most difficult wickets you'll bat on," Smith told ABC radio after the win. "This was, from day one, the driest surface and most inconsistent sort of spinning surface that I've ever seen. It'll be interesting to see what they'll come up with [for the second Test]."

Yet for all of that, Australia outperformed India in every facet of the game, more than doubling India's total in each innings. Their batsmen found ways to score, their bowlers created more chances, their fielders snapped them up. Australia's frontline spinner, Nathan Lyon, took five wickets for the match, but the stand-out was O'Keefe, who claimed 12.

Compare this to India's two lead spinners: R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja managed "only" 12 wickets between them. Smith said the result was credit both to the way O'Keefe adjusted his bowling to suit the Indian conditions, and to the way Australia's batsmen resisted the urge to chase deliveries that might turn away.

"A lot of our right-handers - and left-handers - got beaten on the outside edge of the bat," Smith said. "Those guys are big spinners of the ball, and generally it's the one that goes straight that gets you in a bit of trouble. It's great the guys are learning and actually playing for that straight one and allowing the other one to spin past the bat. That has been a big learning curve for us as a team for a while.

"It's great that we were able to implement the things that we've practised and talked about in the game. In regards to our spinners, I think SOK [O'Keefe], compared to Jadeja, probably goes a little bit wider of the crease and a little bit more side-arm, so potentially doesn't have to get the ball to straighten quite as much to find the outside edge. It's really smart bowling and you reap the rewards for that."

In the first innings, O'Keefe picked up three of his wickets through outside edges and one from a stumping that beat the edge; in the second, five of his six wickets came from attacking the stumps for lbw or bowled dismissals. His match haul of 12 for 70 was second only to Ian Botham's 13-wicket bag in Mumbai in 1980 for a visiting bowler in India.

"I love SOK's willingness to learn, and try different things and adapt to different conditions," Smith said. "He's able to bowl differently to what he does back home. Back home he gets over the top of the ball a lot more, and here he comes around it and changes his seam positions and gets the most natural variation out of the wicket - very similar to Jadeja."

O'Keefe was Man of the Match, but Smith's contribution was also significant. In the second innings, he came to the crease at 10 for 1 and soon Australia were 23 for 2; they had a healthy lead already, but a collapse could have handed the momentum back to India. Smith had some fortune, dropped three times, but went on to make 109. Among Australians, only Mark Taylor and Damien Martyn had previously made second-innings hundreds in India.

"I obviously rode my luck throughout the innings and had a few lives, but you need a bit of luck on a wicket like that," he said. "I was pleased with myself to score a second-innings hundred here in India and formulate some different sort of plans than how I normally play and problem-solve on the spot. From that aspect I'm pleased with myself and it was great we were able to get such a big lead."

That Australia emerged with a win in India for the first time in 4502 days was a remarkable achievement, and Smith was understandably proud of his men. But he was also at pains to note that much work remained in order to win the series - although as the holders of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy one more victory would be enough for Australia to retain it.

"It's only one game," Smith said. "It's a four-match series, and we'd like to win the series. For us it's about taking it one day at a time."