Virat Kohli felt losing the toss in Ranchi was a key factor in India's failure to land a third-Test victory over a battling Australia, with a draw leaving the series tied at 1-1.
The hosts restricted their opponents to 451 all out before Cheteshwar Pujara (202) took centre stage to set up a declaration for India after they passed 600 runs.
But, despite claiming two wickets late on Sunday, India could not finish the job on the final day as Steve Smith's side accepted the offer of a draw after digging deep to finish on 204-6, with Peter Handscomb (72 not out) and Shaun Marsh (53) particularly impressive.
"We got ourselves into a very good position," said Kohli, who saw Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha (117) form a 199-run partnership. "Losing the toss here was never easy. Not being able to take the field [due to a shoulder injury] and watching the opposition get big runs was difficult.
"But we batted beautifully – KL [Rahul] and Murali Vijay, but the partnership between Saha and Pujara is the best I have seen.
"After two wickets [on day four], we thought we had a good chance, but credit to the two batsmen [Handscomb and Marsh], they batted really well. Guys want to push the barrier, their physical limits, their mental toughness.
"Credit to Australia for playing out the draw, but we played ourselves into a position where we could win."
The captain reserved special praise for Pujara – who faced 525 deliveries in the longest stint ever completed by an India batsman – and Saha, and will hope to see them produce similar displays in the decider in Dharamsala, which begins on Saturday.
"Pujara is very motivated and he is really good at Test batting," added Kohli. "This is the best I have watched him bat.
"Saha did it in West Indies, he did it in Calcutta as well, and here under pressure, he really stood up.
"You feel happy for him because he is such a wonderful guy. Always smiling, always happy for whoever achieves anything.
"We have given our best here and as long as we keep doing that, I am sure we will get ourselves into winning positions."
|Sutton re-signs with Rabbitohs for 2018|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Nine-man Barcelona reach semis, Gremio also advance|
|Red Sox ace Sale reaches 300-strikeout milestone|
|Neville: Rashford as good as Mbappe and Dembele|
|MLS Review: Montreal win derby, Atlanta put four past Galaxy|
|Rahm proud of consistency in 2017|
|Madrid can overturn deficit as captain Ramos remains calm|
|Neymar wouldn´t have treated Messi like he did Cavani – Forlan|
|Twins´ Dozier calls for mandatory protective netting after young fan hit by foul ball|
|Bengals boss Lewis warns players about their job security|
|76ers set no limits on Simmons|
|Zidane not worried after Madrid lose ground on Barca|
|Casemiro calls for Madrid calm after shock Betis loss|
|Sane sends message to Guardiola as Manchester City shake off West Brom|
|Keep calm and carry on – Allegri backs Higuain to rediscover scoring touch|
|Bosz proud of table-topping Dortmund after Hamburg triumph|
|Marlins slugger Stanton crushes 56th home run|
|Montella points to schedule after uninspired Milan win|
|Conte confirms Luiz will be fit to face Atletico|
|Manchester City boss Guardiola hopeful Gundogan injury not serious|
|Real Madrid 0 Real Betis 1: Ronaldo´s return ruined as Sanabria stuns LaLiga champions|
|Wilshere is ready for the league - Wenger|
|Simeone lauds ´different class´ Griezmann|
|Mourinho praises United´s professionalism in EFL Cup win|
|Spurs to host West Ham in EFL Cup fourth round|
|Froome: Time to put my feet up|
|West Brom 1 Manchester City 2: Sane at the double amid fresh Gundogan fears|
|Manchester United 4 Burton Albion 1: Mourinho´s men begin EFL Cup defence in style|
|Arsenal 1 Doncaster Rovers 0: Walcott hits winner for Wenger´s men|
|AC Milan 2 SPAL 0: Penalty double seals comfortable win for Montella´s side|
|Chelsea 5 Nottingham Forest 1: Hazard on form as Batshuayi claims hat-trick|
|Juventus 1 Fiorentina 0: Mandzukic on target as Bianconeri maintain winning start|
|Returning Gundogan limps out of impressive Manchester City return|
|Hamburg 0 Borussia Dortmund 3: Bosz´s men cruise back to Bundesliga summit|
|Broady stuns Mannarino in St Petersburg|
|Athletic Bilbao 1 Atletico Madrid 2: Correa and Carrasco strike in second-half surge|
|Simon suffers surprise Moselle Open exit as home hopes struggle in Metz|
|South Africa announce India schedule and planned four-day Zimbabwe Test|
|I have nothing to prove - Paulinho|
|Prodl pens new four-year Watford contract|
|Monaco renew Subasic, Raggi deals|
|Stoneman is ready for Ashes test - Cook|
|Sampson sacked as England Women´s boss|
|Manchester United to act against ´offensive behaviour´ after Lukaku race row|
|Atletico Madrid´s Wanda Metropolitano to host 2019 Champions League final|
|Flying Dutchman Dumoulin crowned world champion|
|Wickmayer topples Peng in Guangzhou, Hogenkamp makes Seoul progress|
|Solomona focused on Sale rather than England return|
|‘Raging Bull’ Jake LaMotta dies aged 95|
|Chelsea confident of recruitment compliance amid FIFA investigation|
|Brighton seal permanent signing of Newcastle keeper Krul|
|Louw, Nkosi and Schreuder get Springboks call|
|Perez donates 3m pesos to Mexico earthquake fund|
|Injured Mathews out of opening Pakistan Test|
|Double leg break victim Rossi to attempt incredible Aragon GP return|
|Barcelona condemn Spanish crackdown on Catalonia independence vote|
|Muguruza marches past Puig, Pliskova and Kerber progress in Tokyo|
|Benzema seals Real Madrid stay until 2021|
|Smith defends captaincy ahead of landmark ODI|
|Perisic promised Inter can match Manchester United|
|The race is on - Aubameyang lays down Lewandowski challenge|
|Cristiano Ronaldo´s Real Madrid return confirmed|
|Bellew tells Haye ´I oblige you´|
|Mbappe can prove he´s ready for Madrid at PSG - Morientes|
|Five-year ban for Pakistan batsman Latif|
|PSG ´destroyed the market´ with Neymar and Mbappe - Elber|
|Bulldogs chairman says sacked Hasler will not be compensated|
|Coutinho withdrawal inspired Leicester to victory, claims Shakespeare|
|Windies opener Brathwaite cleared to bowl|
|Valverde hopes Suarez benefits from Eibar rest|