Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli says Sri Lanka can make a comeback from their 3-0 crushing in the recently-concluded Test series if the players keep believing in themselves and not lose motivation over poor results.

Spineless show

On Monday, August 14, Sri Lanka started the third day of the final Test in Pallekele on 19/1, trailing India by a mammoth 333 runs. Within the first 10 overs of the morning session, they lost three more wickets and from then on it was just about completing the formality for the visitors.

Skipper Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews resisted with a 65-run stand, but it never looked threatening as India clinched yet another innings win, this time inside three days. The emphatic win helped Virat Kohli's men crush Sri Lanka 3-0, which is India's first ever series whitewash overseas.

The lack of intent that was on display from Sri Lanka on Monday morning was just a recap of how the series had progressed. India crushed the islanders' spirits right from Day 1 of the first Test in Galle when Shikhar Dhawan toyed with their attack with a 190-ball 168, partnering with Cheteshwar Pujara, who steadily went about his business during a 153-run knock.

Sri Lanka were never able to comeback from the beating they took on the opening day of the series, rather, it looked like they never wanted to. It could have been easily three innings win for India in the series, if Kohli had enforced follow-on in the Galle Test. The series lasted just 11 days.

"All of them [Sri Lanka cricketers] are super talented players (talking about the Sri Lankan team), that is why they are playing for the country. They beat Australia 3-0," Kohli said on Monday.

He added: "Sometimes a side has momentum, sometimes they don't. It's all about keeping the belief going and not losing motivation because of a few results. That is what we believe in as a team as well."

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli says Team India prefers to be proactive rather than being reactiveLAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images

Struggling Sri Lanka cricket

Notably, Sri Lanka warmed up in the worst possible way to the India series as they had lost a five-match One Day International series to Zimbabwe 3-2 at home. They were made to sweat in the one-off Test against the African minnows in July.

However, it was shocking and disheartening to see a spineless show over the 11 days of the series. Losing key players in Danushka Gunathilaka, Nuwan Pradeep and Rangana Herath came as a big blow, but there can be no excuses for the way Sri Lanka refused to step up.

Sri Lanka cricket
Can Chandimal and Co. put behind the loss and start winning?LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images

Even Kohli seems to have been disappointed over the lack of competition from the side, which had whitewashed Australia 3-0 in 2016. Notably, more than seven players from the current team were part of the historic win against Steve Smith's men.

There will be severe criticism over the consistent failures of the national cricket team in Sri Lanka. However, as Kohli says, it is important for Chandimal and his men to not lose motivation and put up a better fight when they visit India later this year.