The batting headlines may have been stolen yet again by Harbhajan Singh's swashbuckling strokeplay, but with the tour of South Africa less than a month away, the biggest gain for India so far from a series where they have seldom resembled the world's No 1 side has been the half-century that Gautam Gambhir made on the second day in Hyderabad.
On the eve of the game, one of India's biggest newspapers suggested he was living on borrowed time, with Murali Vijay waiting in the wings.
Vijay made a fine century in Bangalore against Australia last month, one of three Tests that Gambhir missed in 2010 as a result of knee problems.
That the board and the selectors disagreed with the journalist's theory was apparent on the eve of the game, when the central contracts for 2010/11 were announced. Gambhir retained his category A status despite not having crossed 25 in his previous nine Test innings.
India's selectors have not always been wise - Mohinder Amarnath, the former India all-rounder, once referred to them as "jokers" - but deserve immense credit for retaining faith in players like Gambhir.
Less than a year ago, the same people calling for his head were mentioning his name in the same breath as Sir Donald Bradman. With good reason too. When he took guard in the second Test against Bangladesh at Dhaka last January, Gambhir was on the verge of reprising Bradman's feat of centuries in six consecutive Tests.
A marathon effort had saved India from certain defeat in Napier [March 2009], and he followed it up with another in Wellington. Against Sri Lanka at home, he scored centuries at Ahmedabad and Kanpur before missing the Mumbai Test to attend his sister's wedding.
Another three-figure knock set up the Chittagong Test for India, and his bat seemed impossible broad as he made his way to Dhaka.
He got to 68 there - the 11th match in a row in which he had made at least 50 - before edging one to the wicketkeeper.
At the time, the feeling was just disappointment, but as the months passed it gave way to anxiety. A couple of times, he got starts, before losing his wicket in careless fashion. For a man who had always admitted to being insecure about his place in the XI, it was a wretched period punctuated by injury.
It is impossible to overstate just how important the opening combination is to India's chances of success. The understanding between Gambhir and Virender Sehwag was first noticed in the Ranji Trophy, and the transition to the big stage has been seamless.
In the 57 innings that they have opened together, Sehwag and Gambhir average 57.92, behind only Jack Hobbs-Herbert Sutcliffe [England, 87.81] and Bill Lawry-Bobby Simpson [Australia, 60.94] of the pairs that have aggregated more than 3,000 runs.
They also have a tendency to make it count. The 160-run stand in Hyderabad was their eighth hundred partnership. They have crossed 50 on 18 other occasions. Only Hobbs and Sutcliffe [15 century partnerships and 10 others over 50 in 38 innings] have a better ratio of making at least 50 every time they went out to bat.
In terms of style they could not be more different. Gambhir is the accumulator, with the pleasing drive and the powerful cut. Sehwag is the destroyer, preying on the bowlers' insecurity from the first ball. That he does it mostly with classical strokeplay only makes it more demoralising.
Sehwag's career was in a slump the last time India toured South Africa, and he managed just 89 runs in the three Tests. Gambhir was not part of the Test picture then, but with the Delhi duo now inseparable at the top of the order, India can look ahead with some confidence.