Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig
Before this match, Michael Clarke spoke of ways in which Australia had to learn from last year's humbling at Pakistani hands in the UAE. Among the most obvious of these was the way their opponents "cashed in" on batting starts by going on to big scores, especially given the tendency of batting to get exponentially easier on slow, low pitches with every hour spent in the middle.
Equally, though, Clarke was eager to see his team show an instinct for the kill in the field, knowing how to impede the progression of a partnership but also how to shift up a gear or three to exploit a breakthrough and make life intolerable for incoming batsmen. "With the ball," he said, "you've got to attack early to a new batter and when you get one try to get two, get three, get that roll on."
The roll on which Australia found themselves on what became the final day of the Dominica Test went beyond even Clarke's expectations, as the breaking of a stubborn union between Marlon Samuels and the debutant Shane Dowrich ushered the surrender of the West Indies' last seven wickets for 35 runs. When that was followed by the reeling in of a derisory 47-run target in the space of five overs, Clarke's men had completed one of the more brutal victories of recent Test match memory. It was of the kind commonly achieved by the intimidatory teams of Steve Waugh, during a phase in which he made a habit of sending the opposition in to bat.
This is not to say that it was overall a performance to sit with some of those summoned at home over the past two summers. Australia relied upon the unlikely source of a 10th wicket partnership for the runs that gave them a decisive advantage, and also the innings of a debutant in Adam Voges. The fact that no other Australian batsman passed 50 in the match will be the source of some concern, as will the continuing trend of the team to rely enormously on the lower order for adequate runs. A businesslike public celebration at the end of the match spoke for the fact that the players and staff know that more and better can be achieved.
Of course the poverty of the West Indies' cricket was plain. Shorn of Shivnarine Chanderpaul in addition to the talent hoovered up by the IPL and other Twenty20 japes, this is a young ensemble wrestling with its limitations. There were moments in the match that will linger pleasingly in the memory of their supporters, not least the canny legspin of Devendra Bishoo and the sure-footed debut of Dowrich. However they will also gnash their teeth at the shabby way the match began and ended, and how Voges and Josh Hazlewood were allowed to change its course in the middle.
Clarke acknowledged that while his men were frustrated at parts of day three, as they pondered the possibility of a fourth innings chase large enough to trouble them, they knew that one wicket could be capitalised upon so long as it was found. The many combinations and variations Clarke tried were typical of his imaginative captaincy ways, even if they included the comical sight of a series of theatrical field changes for Voges' left-arm spin being followed up the next ball by the most inviting of full tosses and a simple boundary.
"It was about finding a way to get that breakthrough and then we had confidence on that wicket it was always going to be hard to start," Clarke said. "I think that's a good example of playing against teams in their own backyard - they know conditions really well and once they get in they're really hard to get out. So we had to be really patient and disciplined. I thought Lyono bowled without much luck, a lot of balls just missed the inside edge or bobbled over bat pad's head or whatever it was. It was being really patient through that period.
"I think individuals will look at their own games and see where they can improve and obviously shot selection is an area where we can be more disciplined and selective with. Our first innings I think Vogesy showed the attitude, the composure, the time you've got to spend in the middle to make big runs in these conditions and the hunger as well. Being his first Test he was obviously extremely hungry to perform well, so I think we can learn from that.
"And I guess our execution with the brand new ball, especially in the first innings, the first hour we probably weren't as disciplined as we would have liked. But again credit to the bowlers to be able to turn that around in the second innings. We won a Test match in three days so we should be really happy. It doesn't matter where you play in the world against what team, if you can win a Test match in three days you're doing a lot of things right so the boys deserve a lot of credit."
The wicket, when it came, was a combination of ingenuity and skill. Hazlewood's knack for finding reverse swing was allowing him to shape the shots of Dowrich, and Clarke posted a very short mid on to collect any drives or pushes that sailed in the air from one such late adjustment. Often this position is seen as a luxury item, and initially Shane Watson could have been forgiven for thinking he was there mainly to make conversation with Samuels. But the chance came, Watson clasped it low to the ground and an end was opened. What that humble wicket led to was dramatic, emphatic and defining, as all the bowlers swarmed over the hosts.
In the same way, a win over West Indies in Dominica has the potential to mark the moment when Australia began to get the thread of overseas success, to be the first of multiple wins over the next six months. The last time Australia won a Test match in near-subcontinental conditions was on this very ground in 2012, something Clarke can remember.
"It's a good start," he said. "It's obviously very pleasing but it's a start. Let's not get carried away." Wise words.