Set a daunting target of 364 on the final day, India spurned the chance to play safe and salvage a draw when they went for it, only to come up short when their lower-order batting collapsed in the final session.
For Kohli, who led India’s assault with a brilliant century, the 48-run loss was a bittersweet result but the batsman praised his team mates for throwing caution to the wind.
“I’m really proud of the way the boys played,” Kohli told a news conference.
“At no point did we back off. And we are not going to back off either. If at any stage that we had in mind that we might play for a draw, we would have lost by 150 runs, to be honest.
“So we went for it. That is what I am happy about.”
Kohli, who filled in as skipper for the first time after regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni withdrew because of injury, led by example with a couple of classic captain’s knocks.
He scored centuries in each innings, including a career-best 141 on Saturday before he was caught in the deep, effectively ending India’s chances of winning.
“I went for my shot. I don’t have any regrets,” he said.
“I could have placed it better. Had it gone for a boundary, things could have been different. But those are big ifs.
“I was just reacting to watching the ball and being positive… playing on instinct.”
Despite losing the match, Kohli also impressed with his captaincy but said he has no designs on taking over from Dhoni, who will be back in place when the second Test starts in Brisbane next week.
“I would be very happy that he is going to be fit and available,” Kohli said. “It doesn’t matter if I have the ‘c’ in front of my name or not. That doesn’t change anything as far as my mindset is concerned.
“I have enough friendship and enough respect between the team that I can go and speak to them every now and then and keep them on the same page.
“That is my responsibility, that is something I will look to do even if I’m not captain.”