Whenever a team is drubbed 5-0 in a series, it is a clear sign that they have been completely outplayed. Even if the fact that Sri Lanka was called on as a replacement for West Indies at the last moment is considered, it was still a highly disappointing result. What the series whitewash has done is severely dent Sri Lanka's confidence, which is not a great sign as they prepare for the upcoming series' which were as scheduled, leading up to the World Cup. In fact, Sanath Jayasuriya himself has admitted that the loss in India has thrown the team's World Cup preparations out of gear.
Lack of runs from the seniors was the major cause of Lanka's catastrophic performance in India. The big three of the batting couldn't live up to the expectations, possibly a sign that age is taking a toll on them even as the World Cup is approaching. Of the three, Mahela Jayawardene got a sublime hundred in one of the games, but even that wasn't enough to help Lanka to a win. In the other games, he failed to deliver the big runs, which hurt Sri Lanka in a big way. Jayawardene has an excellent record against India, and the Lankans would have been looking for much better performances from him, but it never came.
Tillakaratne Dilshan also failed to shine at the top of the order. With the kind of vast experience he possesses, Dilshan was supposed to guide his junior partner Kusal Perera along. But, Dilshan himself couldn't come up with some much desired knocks, and Perera also failed to make any sort of an impact. Dilshan did get a couple of starts, but the inability to convert them into substantial scores meant he had a series to forget. With Perera also failing, Lanka rarely got a good start, and teams rarely do well when such things happen.
The biggest disappointment of all was failure of Kumar Sangakkara. One of Sri Lanka's all-time greats, Lanka have rarely had a better and most consistent player than the elegant left-hander in recent times. But, Sangakkara for a change could not get his act together, and added to Lanka's misery. Considering that Sangakkara has rarely failed over the last few years, he was bound to have a disappointing series somewhere. Unfortunately, the occasion coincided with Dilshan and Jayawardene also not getting the runs, making it near impossible for Lanka to win.
Even in a catastrophe there are some gains. So, if Sri Lanka want to look at their positives, it was definitely the performance of their skipper Angelo Mathews. He was consistent with the bat throughout the tour even as the others faltered. And his hundred in the last ODI at Ranchi would have been a match-winning one on most other occasions. It was a knock of the highest quality. Mathews also did well with the ball, opening the bowling on occasions, and getting the early breakthroughs. All in all, he was the only silver lining for Lanka in an otherwise forgettable series.
--By A Cricket Analyst