There was a different look to both sides as well, with Hull having made 11 summer signings and Cardiff eight.
The home team threatened first as the energetic Sone Aluko had a shot parried by Lewis before Graham ballooned the rebound over.
Cardiff were lacking a cutting edge, although they were denied a penalty when Kim Bo-kyung claimed he had been tripped by defender James Chester.
John RoderMatch of the Day commentator
"A draw was probably a fair result in a game that got better as it progressed. Curtis Davies gave Hull a half-time lead and Peter Whittingham equalised after a lovely move. Hull are still unbeaten at home in the league, while Cardiff have their first point away."
And when Bluebirds midfielder Gary Medel failed to control a through-ball on the turn for a clear sight of goal, it summed up events at the KC Stadium before Hull made the breakthrough.
Huddlestone had a low shot tipped wide by Lewis, but after the visitors failed to clear the resulting corner, the Hull midfielder crossed for Davies to nod in.
Cardiff came out of their shell more after the break as they searched for an equaliser.
Hull manager Steve Bruce was already looking at his watch on the hour mark - and he had good reason to be anxious as the visitors equalised when Whittingham ran on to Cowie's cross and beat keeper Allan McGregor with a fine left-foot volley.
Cardiff almost took the lead through Gunnarsson, but he sent a near-post header wide from a Kevin Theophile-Catherine cross.
Hull finished strongly and might have snatched the three points had Graham's finishing been better.
Hull manager Steve Bruce:
"Danny [Graham] has to stay strong - I just spoke to him about that. If you're a striker, you go through these spells.
Goal was team effort - Mackay
"You don't lose your ability but you have to stay strong. That's the Premier League - it's tough.
"I'm not going to single anyone out. A striker is judged on goals. He's finding it difficult but perhaps that's why he's here. He needs one to settle him down. Perhaps he's trying too hard because his overall game was terrific."
Cardiff manager Malky Mackay:
"I thought both teams went hard at it to try to win. We both had spells of possession and at times both had chances.
"We have got four points from losing positions so far this season and we showed great resilience.
"The goal was a beautiful move from our right-back area up until the goal. I'm very proud of the team."
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