A cursory glance back over the England series ratings following the Test series against Pakistan gives an indication of how far the batsmen have fallen in terms of recent form.
The batsmen were primarily to blame. It was England's first Test series since India visited back in 1986 when only one of the batsmen averaged over 30, and that was wicketkeeper Matt Prior.
The series averages for the top seven were as follows: Andrew Strauss 25.00; Alastair Cook 26.50; Jonathan Trott 26.83; Kevin Pietersen 11.16; Ian Bell 8.50; Eoin Morgan 13.66; Matt Prior 37.50.
It would, therefore, be no understatement to say that every England batsman will be looking to improve considerably upon their performances in the UAE when they embark on the two-Test series in Sri Lanka.
The onus is on every England batsman to step up their game, and that starts right at the very top, with captain Strauss.
The 35-year-old has recorded just one Test century in his last 46 Test innings and none at all since November 2010. This is a man desperate to contribute with the bat and his frustrations are clear for all to see, but it is almost facile to suggest that the captain's batting dominates the thoughts of the England selectors.
It was very welcome indeed for Strauss to compile a composed 100 as he and Trott enjoyed valuable extended stints at the crease in the final warm-up match against a Sri Lanka Development XI. It was his first century for England in any format since his 158 in the World Cup tie against India in February 2011.
Trott weighed in with a typically unwavering and focused 101, and half-centuries followed in the second innings from Pietersen, Prior, Samit Patel and Ravi Bopara.
That leaves one very noticeable absentee from the scoring ranks, with concerns over Bell's form growing by the match. But is it right or necessary to doubt a batsman who averaged a staggering 118.75 in all Tests in 2011 while leaving every purist purring in the process?
But this is a player who oozes class and has proved himself to be a consummate performer for England in the longest form of the game. Flower has, unsurprisingly, backed the 29-year-old to rediscover some form in the two Tests in Sri Lanka but, even if his wretched run does continue, he will still have a big part to play against West Indies and South Africa this summer.
One man who will not be batting for a place in the batting line up is Morgan, who has already lost his. The unorthodox Middlesex batsman paid the price for his inauspicious showing in the UAE, and now the focus turns to who will take his place at number six.
Judging by much of the pre-series talk, Bopara would already appear to be the present incumbent, but England's selection options are providing sufficient doubt as to suggest that Flower and Strauss have yet to settle on their decision.
Patel would provide another spin option, and his masterful 72 off 78 balls in the second innings in Colombo ensures that he is not entirely out of the reckoning, despite being initially regarded by many as a back-up.
Equally, some tout Tim Bresnan as a potential number six with the flexibility that his selection would provide. But Cowers is against such 'out of the box' thinking.
England have a relatively settled line up and, with the success of the second-spinner option in the UAE, Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann are a partnership that should not be tinkered with on the spin-friendly surfaces of Galle and Colombo.
The real uncertainty remains whether Bopara can prove himself to be a reliable, consistent performer with the bat at number six - and his side strain ensures that he will not be able to supplement his runs with a few useful overs of slow-medium reverse-swing and deft variations.
Bopara deserves to be backed and has yet to be granted a prolonged run in the side. With three Tests, three ODIs and a Twenty20 against West Indies to follow in May and June, the scope is there for the Essex batsman to finally be entrusted with a sustained opportunity to perform.
Looking ahead to the first Test in Galle, which gets under way on Monday, much of the attention centres around the make up of the side, but the real question mark will not be addressed until play begins: can England's batsmen bounce back from their travails in the UAE?
Do you back Bopara to bat at number six for England, and do you think the tourists should employ two spinners and two seamers? What would be your selection for the first Test in Galle? Post your views and thoughts below...
The Decision Review System will be used for the series - the inevitable news which no doubt caused many of the England batsmen to cringe - but the HotSpot technology will not be available.
HotSpot has been widely derided for its inconsistency with every use of its technology marked with scepticism, including persistent accusations of players using Vaseline to mask the edges of their bats.
This leaves the Snickometer as the only tool to aid decisions on catches, with the onus back on the umpires to make more authoritative, confident calls from their station.
There had been real doubts whether Sri Lanka Cricket would be able to afford to use the DRS, but it remains with HotSpot taking the fall.
What is your view of the perennial issue hanging over the game: the use of technology to 'assist' the umpires? What do you think the ICC should change to improve the situation?
SHOTS FROM THE TOUR SO FAR: Swann clearly misheard Flower when he was told to "put a sock in it!" after two hours of incessant commentary at a nets session...
Swann and Panesar delight the nearby cameramen as the two spinners practise their comic gurning and inappropriate nose-picking, respectively...
Just don't ask Jimmy Anderson to field at short leg, whatever you do...
We know it is extremely hot toiling in the field in Sri Lanka, but Prior takes things a bit too far by stripping off and whipping out a beach towel...
STATS: Take a look at England and Sri Lanka's head-to-head record, their form so far in 2012, and the odds laid down by the satchel swingers prior to the two-Test series...
Join us for LIVE over-by-over commentary of the first Test between Sri Lanka and England from Galle International Stadium on March 26 from 05:00 UK time