Sri Lanka lost 0-5 © AFP
Sri Lanka lost 0-5 © AFP

Sri Lanka continued to produce poor cricket in the One-Day International (ODI) series against India, after being flattened in the Tests. The 5-ODI series displayed a familiar result as Sri Lanka suffered their second consecutive whitewash at home. Throughout the ODI series, Sri Lanka looked a flawed team, thanks to uncontrollable hassles that only downed their morale. Despite the ever-changing captaincy baton, regular injuries to key players and internal conflicts in the Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC), there were sparks of brilliance within the team. In the end they proved to be a saving grace for a team that once ruled matches at home.

Let us check how the Sri Lankans had fared.

Lahiru Thirimanne (8/10; 165 runs): Coming in as replacement is never an easy task. Thirimanne made a resolute 80 in his comeback match that nearly got Sri Lanka home. His batting across 3 ODIs exuberated confidence and control.

Akila  Dananjaya (7/10; 9 wickets): Arriving almost from oblivion, Dananjaya rocked India in the second ODI at Kandy. His spell to get Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Kedar Jadhav was like a breath of fresh air for a team otherwise reeking of incompetence. Post his maiden 5-wicket haul, Dananjaya got deciphered in remaining matches and landed only 3 wickets.

Angelo Mathews (7/10; 192 runs, 2 wickets): With no burden of captaincy, Matthews batted like a man on a mission. His continuous defiance of Indian bowling proved how crucial he is for Sri Lanka’s success. His back-to-back fifties ensured the hosts were merely outplayed and not demolished.

Milinda Siriwardene (5/10; 144 runs): Siriwardene started the series on a right foot, with a fifty. He battled hard, but lacked somewhat in temperament. He became a victim of his own aggressive approach. His occupancy in the middle was needed for Sri Lanka to score in death overs.

Niroshan Dickwella (5/10; 124 runs): For a player who has heaps of talent in him, Dickwella failed to make good use of the outings. Despite providing quick starts, he failed to convert his 30s into big scores. His initial trigger movement was also picked up by Indians in the latter half of the series, adding to his misery.

Upul Tharanga (70 runs; 3/10): Tharanga did put up a brave face in the post-series presentation, but sounded dejected when asked about the results. His poor form, a 2-ODI ban, and being captain of a side that was continuously chopped and changed did not really give him any chance to shine. He did make a 48 in the fifth ODI but by then the Lankan Lions had already been silenced.

Kusal Mendis (64 runs, 2.5/10): After an impressive Test series, Mendis failed to kick on adding just 57 runs across 4 ODIs. Perhaps the next-generation superstar tag has taken a toll on his psyche.

Chamara Kapugedara (55 runs; 2/10): Appointed captain midway, Kapugedara seemed out of place in the third ODI at Kandy. His decision to bat was questioned by authorities, with his batting not doing much talking either. He did manage an ugly 40 in second ODI.

Danushka Gunathilaka (2/10; 54 runs): With participation cut short due to an injury, Gunathilaka showed promise in the first 2 ODIs. His aggressive approach saw India take backseat, demonstrating how he is a perfect foil to Sri Lanka’s future schemes.

Lasith Malinga (3/10; 3 wickets): Malinga gets extra point for bagging his 300th ODI wicket. He tried hard but could be take apart the opposition.

Vishwa Fernando (2/10; 3 wickets): Fernando looked impressive in parts with his pace but could not keep up with demands of gruelling cricket. He was taken for plenty by India’s batsmen.

Dinesh Chandimal (1.5/10; 36 runs): After scoring a self-assuring 36 in the third ODI, Chandimal’s participation was also shortened by injury. However, he did manage to ruffle a few feathers in the Sri Lankan board.

Hasaranga de Silva (1.5/10; 1 wicket, 33 runs): In the side for his bowling, Hasaranga displayed composure with the bat in the fourth ODI making a run-a-ball 22.

Dushmantha Chameera played 2 ODIs but remained wicketless.

Dilshan Munaweera played 2 ODIs ended with 15 runs.

Malinda Pushpakumara, Thisara Perera and Lakshan Sandakan featured in one ODI each. Pushpakumara was the only one to pick a wicket.