Virat Kohli spoke of his pride at seeing India go from salvaging security to pushing for a stunning win on the final day of the drawn first Sri Lanka Test.
India began day five in Kolkata on 171-1 after Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul's impressive resistance on Sunday, but Kohli's men were still in survival mode with Suranga Lakmal particularly in fine form.
The skipper scrapped to an 80-ball fifty, with partners around him regularly falling, but Sri Lanka's decision to take the new ball backfired as Kohli raced to a hundred, brought up with a six, before declaring 230 runs in the lead with 40 overs to bowl the tourists out.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4-8) and Mohamed Shami (2-34) gave it a good enough go, reducing Sri Lanka to 75-7 in 26.3 overs before bad light intervened and prompted handshakes.
"It was important to make something out of the game with whatever time we had," Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
"Conditions changed drastically over the five days. We had to show character, having been on the backfoot on day one and day two.
"Credit to Sri Lanka. The team showed a lot of character. We didn't look at the batting collapse. We believed in our strengths.
"If you didn't have intent on this wicket, it would've been difficult to survive. That was the key. If we got enough good balls in the right areas, it would've been tough. All in all, we're proud of how we finished."
Kohli's century was his 50th across formats in just 348 appearances, record-equalling pace with Hashim Amla, whose half-century of tons came in equal time.
India's talisman said of the record: "It feels good. My journey has not been long but I want to continue contributing, especially in situations like these.
"If I can step up and perform, that will give me more pleasure than thinking about the number of hundreds I have.
"The mindset is always to go forward and help the team forward, and win Test matches."
20. April 2018
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