Angelo Mathews praised Suranga Lakmal for setting the tone as Sri Lanka ended their 12-game losing streak in one-day internationals.
Sri Lanka cruised to a seven-wicket win over India in Dharamsala in the first game of the three-match series as Lakmal recorded career-best figures of 4-13 with four maidens from 10 overs to skittle the hosts for 112.
The tourists needed just 20.4 overs to reach the target of 113 and will now aim to win the series in Mohali on Wednesday.
"It's a very pleasing moment. The past few months have not been good for us, but we've remained confident and worked very hard," Mathews said.
"Two more games to go, we can't relax. The way Suranga Lakmal set the tone was fantastic, followed by all the other bowlers."
Meanwhile India captain Rohit Sharma accepted India have lessons to learn from the defeat.
"Credit should go to the Sri Lankan bowlers, they made full use of the conditions but, as a team, as a batting unit, days like these will teach us a lot of things," Rohit said.
"We as a team want to thrive in such conditions and come out on top. Today was not the ideal day and hopefully the boys can learn from it and next time we are put in this situation we know how to tackle that and come out of it.
"I don't think we played any rash shots, they bowled in the right channel, kept us guessing all the time and batsmen were made to play all the time.
"It is an eye-opener, we will learn from it. It is a young batting group, the guys, including myself, will learn and play us out of these situations well next time."
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