Kohli: This series belongs to the bowlers

India captain Virat Kohli has hailed his team's bowlers after they pulled off a 117-run victory in the third and deciding Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Tuesday.

The visitors bowled the hosts out 268 in the final session on the final day as India claimed their first Test series win away from home in more than four years.

Batsman Cheteshwar Pujara was the only India player to score a century in the match. The right-handed opening batsman carried his bat to score an unbeaten 145 in a first innings total of 312.

The bowlers then played their part, dismissing the hosts for just 201 before India were 274 all out in their second innings, setting Sri Lanka a target of 386.

After the match, Kohli said: "I think this series belongs to the bowlers because they have been outstanding apart from Cheteshwar's knock which was world class, one of the best I have seen in Test cricket.

"Apart from that, the bowlers have really stood out in this series. It takes a lot of character for the fast bowler to come and bowl six balls on a channel on the fourth or fifth stump knowing that you are not making the batsman play.

"You might have to bowl five overs and maybe four maidens out of that. It takes a lot of character because it is hot, humid and to think that I am going to bowl five overs and maintain line and length and not go for wickets all the time is very difficult for the bowlers to accept firstly and to execute.

"But that they have done beautifully. They are willing to work harder than they might have in the past, they have been willing to put in that extra effort."