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."
|Ramos hits back at Maradona|
|Spieth praises U.S. Open champion Koepka|
|Loftus-Cheek will consider Chelsea future|
|Jorginho deal not done yet - City|
|Amrabat slams Geiger over alleged shirt request|
|Neymar targets improvement against Costa Rica|
|Confident Spieth ready to relish ´Car-nasty´ Open|
|All Blacks ring the changes for series finale with France|
|Sampaoli yet to decide on Argentina XI to face Croatia|
|Bale needs Real Madrid assurances, says agent|
|What game were you watching? - Costa bites back at journalist|
|Catalans capitalise on Leeds collapse to secure victory|
|Ronaldo facial hair inspired by Quaresma joke|
|This is not football - Carvajal criticises Iran tactics|
|Costa strike keeps 2018 World Cup waiting for first goalless draw|
|FIFA fines Mexico over discriminatory chants|
|Suarez announces wife´s pregnancy after World Cup heroics|
|Fortune favours Spain´s ´Supermen´ as luck proves to be Iran´s kryptonite|
|Hubert Green, U.S. Open winner who ignored death threat, dies at 71|
|Osaka injured in Birmingham, Kerber crashes out in Mallorca|
|Iran 0 Spain 1: Costa goal breaks stubborn resistance|
|Cilic battles back but Wawrinka bows out at Queen´s|
|Messi the greatest but Croatia will play to beat Argentina, says Dalic|
|Thiem stunned by Sugita in Halle|
|Salah rejects talk of rift in Egypt camp|
|England Women follow up men´s ODI record with T20I high|
|Southgate laughs off dislocated shoulder: Better me than one of the players!|
|World Cup hosts Russia qualify as Egypt make early exit|
|Pique wins 100th Spain cap in Iran World Cup clash|
|Serbia v Switzerland: Kolarov not interested in playing for a draw|
|Rakitic wary of ´uber-motivated´ Messi|
|Not my finest moment - Mickelson issues apology after U.S. Open controversy|
|´Best in the world´ Messi the victim of unfair treatment, says Sampaoli|
|Suarez off the mark but resurgent Russia will not fear stuttering Uruguay|
|Uruguay 1 Saudi Arabia 0: Centurion Suarez strikes to send La Celeste, Russia through|
|Peru boss Gareca not a fan of ´novelty´ VAR|
|Nigeria v Iceland: Hallgrimsson anticipates another intense battle|
|Griezmann to face Peru despite ankle issue and struggles – Deschamps|
|Leicester sign Norwich´s Maddison|
|Leinster face Wasps, Bath, Toulouse in Champions Cup draw|
|2019 Ashes to start World Test Championship|
|Wizards to face Knicks in London next season|
|Vettel eyeing Paul Ricard profits - French GP in numbers|
|Malaga turn to Muniz once again|
|Amrabat: VAR doesn´t work if you do not use it|
|Suarez earns 100th Uruguay cap|
|You´ve got to look beyond football - Denmark chip in to fly new father Knudsen home|
|Neymar returns to Brazil training after injury scare|
|No passports required - Burnley´s 51-year wait for European tie sees Clarets draw... Aberdeen|
|Huddersfield bring in Bacuna to boost midfield|
|Forget the GOAT and the goatee - just enjoy Ronaldo and Messi|
|Ronaldo bearing down on Daei after going past Puskas - The top five goalscorers in international foo|
|Portugal 1 Morocco 0: Record-breaker Ronaldo sends Renard´s men out|
|Halep pulls out of Eastbourne International|
|Brazil v Costa Rica: Coutinho ready for more Selecao toil|
|Muller and Bierhoff dismiss reports of German disharmony|
|Mooy can play at a higher level, says Socceroos boss Van Marwijk|
|Remarkable Ronaldo breaks Puskas´ European record|
|Belgian Grand Prix deal agreed until 2021|
|Isco: I´m not going to speak to Ronaldo again!|
|Slater expects to be fit for Origin II|
|Curran and Overton added to England ODI squad|
|Hussey fears Australia will be left with ´mental scars´|
|Fabianski swaps Swansea for West Ham|
|Loftus-Cheek ready to replace Alli|
|England are a team now - Rashford|
|Lazaridis calls for Cahill to start against Denmark|
|Arzani and Ryan can play at the highest level, says Bosnich|
|Dust (Ja)pan and brush: Blue Samurai fans clean up in Saransk|
|Lodge reaches agreement over New York attack|