Super Sanga

Published : Sep 05, 2015 00:00 IST

Kumar Sangakkara holds the record for the being the joint-fastest to 10,000 Test runs. He reached this mark in 195 innings, exactly the same as Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara. He also holds the sole record for being the fastest to 8000 (152 inns), 9000 (172 inns), 11000 (208 inns) and 12000 (224 inns) Test runs.

Sangakkara is the only Sri Lankan batsman to have scored centuries in Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and England. He has scored three hundreds in New Zealand, two in England and one each in Australia and South Africa. Sangakkara has scored a century in 10 different countries, with the only country where he did not manage a century being West Indies, where he played a mere four Tests. Sangakkara has a batting average of 54.1 in Tests matches outside Sri Lanka, the fifth-best away-Test average for any batsman in Test history (min. 100 innings) after Allan Border (56.6), Steve Waugh (55.5), Graeme Smith (54.9) and Sachin Tendulkar (54.7).

Sangakkara is one of only three Sri Lanka batsmen — along with Mahela Jayawardena and Marvan Atapattu — to have scored a century against every Test nation. In fact, he has scored at least three centuries against every country except Australia and Zimbabwe, against whom he has one and two hundreds respectively.

Sangakkara’s career batting average of 57.4 is the best in Test history for any batsman who has played 100 or more Tests. There are 62 players who have played 100-plus Tests — including the likes of Tendulkar, Lara and Ponting — and all of them except Sangakkara (57.4) and Jacques Kallis (55.4) average less than 55.

Q & A

India lost the first Test of the current series against Sri Lanka despite Ravichandran Ashwin returning a match-haul of 10 wickets. Who are the other International bowlers to suffer this fate after taking 10 or more wickets in a Test?

- Ajit Krishnan, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

There have been 70 instances of a bowler ending up on the losing side in a Test despite taking 10 or more wickets. However, the last time an Indian bowler suffered this fate, before Ravichandran Ashwin, was 11 years ago, when India lost to Australia in Bangalore in 2004 with Harbhajan Singh taking 11 wickets. Wasim Akram has taken three 10-wicket hauls in losing causes, the most for any bowler in Test history.

Adam Lyth seems to have had a terrible Ashes series, having finished without a single 50-plus score. Is this one of the worst Ashes performances for a regular batsman?

- Raghuram Cadambi, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Adam Lyth scored 115 runs from nine innings in this Ashes series, with a top-score of 37 and a batting average of 12.77. This average is the worst for any opener, and the third-worst for any regular batsman (Nos. 1 to 7) in Ashes history when playing five or more Tests. The worst such performance is by Australia's Tommy Andrews who scored 49 runs from six innings during the 1926 Ashes at a dismal average of 8.16.

Which batsman has the best 50-to-100 conversion ratio in ODIs?

- D. Sairam, Vellore, Tamil Nadu

Among batsmen who have made at least ten 50-plus scores in ODIs, Quinton de Kock has the best 50-to-100 conversion ratio. He has made six hundreds and five fifties, making him the only player with more hundreds than fifties. The next four players on this list are Aaron Finch (6 hundreds, 7 fifties), Hashim Amla (21, 28), Paul Stirling (5, 7) and Virat Kohli (22, 33).

I can't think of an Ashes series that has been drawn in recent times. When was the last time this happened?

- Rijoy Bhaumik, Kolkata, IndiaThat's a great observation.

The last instance of an Ashes series being drawn was 43 years ago, when a closely fought series in England finished 2-2, in the year 1972. Interestingly however, in the 10-year period, between 1962 and 1972, four out of six Ashes series were drawn. Each of the 23 Ashes series since then had seen a clear winner. Overall, only five out of 69 Ashes series have been drawn, which means 93% of all Ashes series have had outright winners.

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