Sri Lanka had specifically ordered the unusual batting-friendly Galle deck, on which India achieved their biggest ever victory in terms of runs. Rangana Herath did not reveal why such a request should be made when facing a team who have an outstanding top order. Instead, he laid the blame on his team's execution of what he felt was a good strategy.
Where India made 840 runs at a run rate better than 4.5 an over across the match, losing only 13 wickets in the process, Sri Lanka mustered just 536. They were without Asela Gunaratne in both innings, however.
"I think we made this pitch because we had a plan," Herath said. "I said before the match that it will be a track that's good for batting. We should take the main responsibility for the nature of the pitch. We didn't bat or bowl well on it. We shouldn't blame anyone else. We have to resolve our own issues."
Chief among those issues, Herath felt, was the batting. Three India batsmen made hundreds in the match, including two - Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara - who passed 150. Sri Lanka's top score, meanwhile, was Dimuth Karunaratne's 97. Dilruwan Perera also hit 92 not out in the first innings.
"A few of our batsmen got close to three figures and got out, but the Indian batsmen not only got their hundreds, they went further. That was a big difference too in the game, and an area that we have to work on."
Herath also felt Sri Lanka gave a poor account of themselves with the ball. This was the first time since March 2013 that Sri Lanka conceded 600 runs or more in an innings - the last occasion having been against Bangladesh in a high-scoring draw in 2013. They have since given away 524 for 5 in New Zealand and 575 for 9 in England, but have generally been more penetrative at home.
"We are a better team than this," Herath said. "We really are. I felt that it was after a long time that a team scored 600 runs against us. We should have bowled better."
Sri Lanka's worst bowling in the match perhaps came on the first day, when Shikhar Dhawan hit 190 off 168 balls. Only Herath maintained an economy rate of below four in the first innings.
"At that point, we had a few plans for Shikhar Dhawan, but we failed to execute them," Herath said. "For example, we allowed him too much width. In the first session of the match itself the game started slipping away from us. We bounced back well but he had by then got off to a terrific start."
Unusually for a Galle track, the quicks outperformed the spinners on what is traditionally one of the most spin-friendly tracks in the world. Of the 31 wickets to fall in this match 16 fell to seam bowlers - 10 of those breakthroughs shared between the two Sri Lanka quicks. This was the first occasion since 2014 in which fast bowlers were more successful at the venue. And where the track typically begins to offer drastic turn on days four and five, this pitch had remained relatively good for batting throughout.
"I thought that on the fourth or fifth day there would be something for the spinners," Herath said. "But there wasn't as much help for the spinners as I expected at those late stages."
The seamer-friendly conditions allowed Nuwan Pradeep to become the first Sri Lanka bowler to claim a six-wicket haul at home since Chaminda Vaas, in 2005. His 6 for 132 in the first innings was also a personal best for Pradeep, who had never previously taken five wickets in an innings.
"I think it was after a long time a fast bowler has taken a five-wicket haul in Galle," Herath said. "There's so much pressure on spinners when we play in Sri Lanka, and Pradeep bowling so well and taking so many wickets will be a huge plus point for us moving forward. He was outstanding in this game and his effort was fantastic. That was one of the positives."