George Bailey and Matthew Wade had a fantastic series with the bat    AFP
George Bailey and Matthew Wade had a fantastic series with the bat AFP

After an embarrassing 3-0 whitewash in the Test series at the hands of Angelo Mathews’ men, if anything could have helped Australia, remove those scars and memories, it had to be an intimidating performance in the yellow outfit. A 4-1 scoreline and with yet another trophy at their disposal, Australia have asserted their supremacy in ODI cricket, in some fashion. They might have struggled to find their feet against a certain Rangana Herath in the Tests, but in a format of which they have been kings of, Australia’s experienced line-up, didn’t let Sri Lanka’s newbies create a fairytale season of their own. The first Test at Pallekele might have been Sri Lanka’s perfect welcome for the visitors to the island, but the Aussies, returned the favour to show the hosts, where they actually stand. Full Cricket Scorecard: Sri Lanka vs Australia 2016, 5th ODI at Pallekele

An outing where Australia’s ability to face spin, was tested to the limits, and their bowlers needed to cover up for the inadequacies of the batting order, here is how their players performed, on a scale of 10. READ: Australia maintain top-spot in ICC ODI Rankings; England rise to 5th spot

Aaron Finch: One of Australia’s biggest strengths in limited-overs cricket, is to have an opening pair as destructive as David Warner and Aaron Finch. Even if one of them is going through a rough patch, the other makes up for him. Finch scored 2 fifties in the series, and they were instrumental in making the chase easy for Australia. His approach at the top of the order, was necessary for Australia as the pitches became tougher to bat on as the game progressed. He gets 7.5 out of 10.

David Warner: Having to fill Steve Smith’s shoes, mid-way into the series, Warner had a real task on his hands. He though, lived up to the expectations with his captaincy, that saw him make a couple of bold decisions and by the time, the series came to an end, he made up for the dry run in the four previous ODIs. His hundred in the final ODI, really should have come as a ‘sigh of relief’ to him. But he certainly struggled on the pitches that were on offer and even criticised the track at Dambulla. He gets a rating of 6.5 for his overall performance.

Steven Smith: Having been called back to Australia, to prepare for the tour to South Africa, yes, at least that is what we were told, Smith had a good first match, where he scored a half-century as well. Perhaps, the loss in the second ODI added to Smith’s Test whitewash frustration or something, but Cricket Australia decided to call him back mid-way into the tournament. No such rating for him. He did well in the two games though.

George Bailey: The Man of the series, and why not. An aggregate of 270 runs from five games with an average of 67.05, Bailey was the reason why Australia managed to seek past the finishing line in a few crunch games. For someone like Bailey, who likes to play in the sub-continent, this was always going to be an opportunity to relish and he made most of it. He played spin tremendously well. And deserves 9.5 out of 10 for his show.

Matthew Wade: Australia’s wicketkeeper-batsman had a fine outing in Sri Lanka, he scored a couple of forties and fifties that helped the team recover from tough situations. He did put on partnerships and had a decent series with the bat. Behind the wickets he took a number of catches as well. A 6.5 out of 10 would be fitting.

James Faulkner: With 10 wickets to his name, all-rounder James Faulkner made his mark in the series. He took figures of 4 for 38 in the first ODI and was exceptional in removing the pace of the ball. His variations, especially the slower ball worked to the best of use. He gets 7.5 on 10 for his efforts.

Moises Henriques: Another all-rounder who could have made most of his place in the side but couldn’t, Henriques featured in the first two ODIs, and could not help the team’s cause with the bat or with the ball. He gets 3.5/10 for his performance.

Travis Head: Wicketkeeper-batsman Travis head had a decent series. Not only the fact that he didn’t have to keep wickets helped him, his ability to bowl a bit added to his fantastic experience in Sri Lanka. He also made a few vital contributions lower down the order, for his side. He therefore, gets 7 out of 10 for his performance.

Mitchell Starc: Coming back from an injury, Mitchell Starc has taken Sri Lanka by a storm on the tour. First the Test series, where the pitches favoured spinners more, and now the ODI series where, he emerged as the leading wicket-taker in the series, with 12 wickets at an average of 18.17. Starc was spitting fire throughout the series and early breakthroughs that he took, put the hosts on the back foot since the beginning. He gets 9.5 out of 10.

Adam Zampa: 9 wickets in the series for leg-spinner, Adam Zampa made sure the visitors used the dry conditions to the best of use. Zampa, has time and again proved he is game for the next level, and this series probably would have made Australia think, they should have brought him, in place of Jon Holland in the Test series as well. He gets 7.5 for his showing.

Josh Hazlewood: Hazlewood didn’t really have a good ODI series this time around. He could only manage one wicket in the two matches that he played and didn’t look penetrating enough, whereas his pace-partner Starc looked really sharp and accurate. He gets 4 out of 10.

John Hastings: Hastings had a brilliant ODI series. One which has made him a top candidate to lead Asutralia’s bowling attack, in absence of Starc and Hazlewood, when they tour South Africa in the near future. His 6 for 45 in the fourth was a remarkable effort on his part, and certainly proved deadly for Sri Lanka. He gets 8 for his spectacular bowling effort.

Scott Boland: Boland featured in the last two ODIs for Australia and picked 3 wickets in total. His performance was fairly decent and he gets 6 out of 10 for his display.

Note: Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon and Shaun Marsh played in two or less than two games and could not contribute much.

(Karan Dewan, a reporter with CricketCountry, loves following and playing sports. He is a Team India fan and loves winning. Follow him on his twitter handle @karan13dewan)