But the 22-year-old showed few signs of nervousness, bewitching the Aussie batsmen with his guile and unorthodox action to return with figures of 4-68.
Smith and David Warner were past their individual fifties and the century-plus partnership was looking ominous for India when Kuldeep employed the trick he had learnt from Warne to lead India's second session fightback.
Selectors were grasping for straws trying to find another Shane Warne and since Smith started off as a legspinner, he was given a punt.
In fact, India head coach Anil Kumble took Kuldeep to Warne ahead of the first Test between India and Australia in Pune. I only watch his videos and it was a dream- come-true when I met him.
Australia's first-innings total represented something of a disappointment for Smith's men given they took lunch on 1-131, but Wade is optimistic they can limit an India side who are a batsman light in the absence of injured skipper Virat Kohli. "Now he has promised me to meet again and hold a training session with me".
"I remember hearing the sound coming off his bat - it was a handsome noise as he was absolutely hitting them in the middle", Jones recently recalled to Cricbuzz.More news: Slight chance for thunderstorms on Thursday, much warmer Friday, wet Saturday
"From childhood I have been told that spinner is someone who would take wickets even if he gets hit (Spinner woh hain jo maar bhi khaaye aur wickets bhi leta rahein)".
Smith has now made seven centuries in his past eight Tests against India and, while his batting might provide a blueprint for his team-mates, it's questionable whether any of them could perform at the same level as their captain in his current form. Kuldeep was always touted as the next big thing in Indian cricket and on the first day of the Test he lived up to his reputation by picking up four wickets. Don't know about Smith's sleeping problem but surely the Indian bowlers would be losing some sleep over getting him out early.
Now Australia's bowlers will have to support their batters after Matthew Wade, who scored a series-high 57, conceded Australia left some runs out in the middle.
There is a strong Australian flavour in Kuldeep's game with former one-day specialist Brad Hogg also a major influence on the left-arm wrist spinner's career.
"If you see the first wicket, it was not a chinaman, it was a flipper that I have learnt from Warne", said Yadav. As wickets kept falling, it was clear that it will be upon Smith to get a daddy-hundred and help them get a 350-plus score. So he was a bit upset that I was not being picked.