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It's July again and India is in Sri Lanka...again!

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It’s July again and India is in Sri Lanka…again. Well, these teams are virtually sticking to the principle of love your neighbour. But well, lesser we speak about that, better it is for us. This time it’s 5 match ODI series followed by one T-20. This will be India’s first series post the disastrous tour of Australia. Sri Lanka on the other hand has been amidst active cricket in recent times. Mahela has stated that India is rusty and Sri Lanka must capitalise on that. Dhoni though has been seeing the things in a different perspective. He has gone on record saying that the team has thoroughly enjoyed this break and now, it is ready to have a go at Sri Lankans.

Head to Head :

  Matches India Sri Lanka
Tied No Result
Overall 134 71 51 1 11
In Sri Lanka 51 19 26 0 6


Although too frequent, these two sides have had few interesting battles and the stats team have come up with some numbers to share. Since 1979, these two sides have played 134 matches. Out of which India had won 71 and SL 51; 1 game was a tie and 11 had no results. In Sri Lanka, post 1985, these sides have been up against one another 51 times- India 26- SL 19 and No Results 6. So, all and all, India leads head to head chart on the counts of wins.

Last 10 Matches (India vs SL) :


  India Sri Lanka
Tied
No Result
Overall 6 3 1 0
In Sri Lanka 5 5 0 0


Now, let’s have a look to how these teams have performed with their batting, bowling and fielding.

Sri Lanka :


Sri Lanka flagIn the contests held in Sri Lanka against India, the ‘most no. of runs scored list’ (in the current squad) is led by; well the usual suspect- Mahela Jayawardene. Mahela has scored 1009 runs in the 33 matches he has played so far. Sangakara is no.2 and Dilshan is at no.3. Interestingly it is neither Mahela nor Sanga who had scored a century till now. Dilshan is the only player from this squad to have scored an hundred against India in Sri Lanka. This team though has quite a few talented individuals. The likes of Kapugedera,Chandimal, Thirimanne, Tharanga and Mathews will aim to add few more runs to their tally.

The bowling list of highest wicket takers (in the current squad) is led by ever so consistent Kulasekara. In 16 matches he has played in SL against India, he has taken 22 wickets with the average of 29.22 and economy rate of 4.83. Thisara Perera tops the list on the count of average. With the average of 8 and economy rate of 3.84, he is miserly to say the least. But again, he has played just two games and shall look to these stats as an inspiration to bowl well. He finds some company with the presence of Angelo Mathews on the list of only two men to have taken 5 wickets in an inning against the Indians. Quite surprisingly, Malinga has not been too effective against the Indians like he generally is against the others.

On the fielding account, Sangakara tops the list with 35 dismissals. It is expected, keeping in mind he keeps wickets almost every time. Mahela comes second but he is still a long way behind his good mate.

India :


India flagTendulkar tops the list of highest run scorer against Sri Lanka. However, he has skipped this series. In his absence, Dhoni leads the way from front. With 21 matches he has played in SL, Dhoni has scored 731 runs with an average of 43. The likes of Sehwag and Gambhir are tied at the top on the hundred’s count- both have scored 1 hundred each. But well, Indian fans will expect a few more on this tour. For Virat Kohli, SL is a special place. It is here, he has made his India debut. But since then, he has marched ahead. Once a brash rookie, now he is a man reliable from Dhoni’s squad. This time around, he is coming to SL as a deputy to MSD. A man possessed that he is, he will be looking forward to score few more runs and help his team win this series. This will be a crucial tour for the likes of Raina and Rohit Sharma, who had been to SL before and also for the likes of Rahane and Tiwary-who are yet to have a game in SL.

Barring Zak and Irfan, not many Indian pacers from this squad have played sufficient cricket in SL. Hence, for the likes of Dinda and Umesh Yadav, this will be a good opportunity to strike a few blows. Amongst the spinners, Ojha has played 9 games in which he has scalped 12 wickets. Rahul Sharma and R Ashwin, the other two spinners in this squad are yet to play in SL. Although, Ashwin has not had a game in SL, he is being viewed as a leader of the spin attack.

Just like Sanga for SL, Dhoni is leading the highest no.of dismissals tally of fielders. And the reason is no different than of Sanga’s. India have bolstered its side with youngsters. Hence, do expect the Indian fielding going a notch higher.

So, although too frequent for few, this series will give India a good chance to have a look at some of their less experienced players. A win in this series shall set the tone right for the remainder of the year. For SL, a win here means a continuation of its good form. All and all, everyone will like to witness a competitive series. And ya, please keep wishing that rain stays away from this series. In recent times, teams felt that they were in Sri Lanka for rain-dance and not to play cricket. So rain rain, stay away.

Stats by: Karna Yajnik



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