Neighbourhood rivalry

India and Sri Lanka are playing a Test series, in Sri Lanka, in July-August. This makes it a good time to take a quick look at this rivalry and the numbers that emerge.

Sachin Tendulkar has scored 1995 runs, the most by any batsman in India-Sri Lanka Tests.   -  K. R. DEEPAK

3 Number of Test series wins for Sri Lanka against India. Each of these wins have come in Sri Lanka. India has never lost a single Test match, let alone a Test series, to Sri Lanka in India.

5 Number of Test series (including this series) played between India and Sri Lanka, post 2005. Four out of these five series have been played in Sri Lanka, with Sri Lanka’s only tour to India coming in 2009.

22 Number of years between India’s two Test series victories in Sri Lanka. It had won a three-match series by a 1-0 margin in 1993 and then had to wait till 2015 for its next win, when it beat Sri Lanka 2-1.

1995 Runs scored by Sachin Tendulkar in 25 Tests against Sri Lanka, the most by any batsman in India-Sri Lanka Tests. Next on the list is Mahela Jayawardene with 1822 runs from 18 Tests.

105 Wickets taken by Muttiah Muralitharan in 22 Tests against India, the most by any bowler in India-Sri Lanka Tests. Kumble has taken 74 wickets from 18 Tests against Sri Lanka.

8 Number of India-Sri Lanka Tests played at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo, more than at any other venue. India has a 2-2 head-to-head record (with four draws) against Sri Lanka at this ground. The second Test of this series will be played here.

3 Number of Tests that India has lost against Sri Lanka in Galle, more than at any other venue. It has only won one Test here, in 2008. The first Test of this series will be played in Galle.

8-4 India’s win-loss record in Tests against Sri Lanka since 2005. The only two top-eight teams against whom India has a better win-loss ratio in Tests during this period are New Zealand (7-1) and West Indies (8-0).

Q&A

India lost the 2017 Women’s World Cup final by a heartbreakingly close margin. Is this the closest final in Women’s World Cups?

— Abhinav Ramesh, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

India lost the 2017 Women’s World Cup final by a margin of nine runs. There has been only one Women’s World Cup final where the margin of victory, in terms of runs, was less. In the 2000 Women’s World Cup final, in Lincoln, New Zealand posted a total of 184, and then bowled Australia out for 180, therefore taking the title with a four-run victory.

During the recent Test between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, all four innings saw scores between 300 and 400. Has this happened before?

Vikramjit Ray, Bengaluru, Karnataka

During the only Test of Zimbabwe’s recent tour to Sri Lanka, at the Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, Zimbabwe posted 356 runs in the first innings, followed by Sri Lanka’s 346. Zimbabwe then scored 377 runs in its second innings and set Sri Lanka a target of 388 to win, which Sri Lanka achieved. This was the third time that all four innings in a Test saw scores between 300 and 400. The previous instance also involved Sri Lanka, in a Test versus South Africa, at the P. Sara Stadium, Colombo, in 2006. The only other instance came 77 years before that, in an Australia-England Test in Adelaide in 1929.

During the second Test of the England-South Africa series, England’s top three batsmen scored very few runs across both innings. Has this happened before?

Swarnima, Ranchi, Jharkhand

England’s top-three batsmen — Alastair Cook (3 & 42), Keaton Jennings (0 & 3) and Gary Balance (27 & 4) — scored a total of 79 runs across both innings in the second Test of the ongoing series between England and South Africa. The last instance of England’s top-three batsmen cumulatively scoring less than 79 runs across both innings in a Test came 20 years ago, against Australia, at the Oval, in 1997. England’s last instance before that, also came Australia, and also at the Oval, in 1989.

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