The Lankans are here for their eighth bilateral cricket tour and after an absolute drubbing in the second test, are the visitors feeling the chill? We delve into cricketing archives to dig out a list of the best performers in cricket matches between India and its southern island neighbour.
It’s hard not to find the Master Blaster at the top of any statistic. He holds the record for 1995 runs, the most scored by an Indian player against the Lankans in test matches. Tendulkar’s ease in picking off the bowlers almost at will has allowed him to score freely and frequently.
No big surprise here either. Tendulkar has tormented the Lankans pretty much his entire career. With 3113 runs, a strike rate of 87.54 and an average of 43.84, he has taken a liking to brutally blunt the Lankan bowling attack throughout his career.
Sri Lanka had just won the World Cup in 1996, beating the fancied Australian team thanks to Jayasuriya’s all-round performance. At his peak, he was considered one of the greatest players of the game and he proved it against a star-studded Indian team in August 1997, scoring 340 runs.</>p
Rohit Sharma was in a murderous mood on November 13, 2014, and took the Lankan bowling apart. He hammered 264 runs in just 173 balls. His awe-inspiring innings was studded with 33 fours and nine sixes. He scored more than half the team total of 404!
Muralitharan, aka the smiling assassin, has been the bane of batsmen since he burst on to the scene in 1992. He holds the world record for the most wickets in tests and has 800 test scalps. He also relished bowling to the Indians and bamboozled them regularly, taking 105 wickets.
No matter what the format, Murali does what he does best – beguile batsmen with his wicked spin bowling. The Indians were quite clueless about his accurate bowling and succumbed to his guile, giving him this ‘doosra’ honour. This is how he knocked off 74 Indian wickets in ODIs.
Tendulkar has played against the Lankans in 25 test matches over a 20 year period. With an average score of 60.45, he has produced quite a few brilliant knocks. Raw aggression coupled with impeccable technique had the Lankans wary of him.
Jayasuriya was one of the best all-rounders of the game. If his batting didn’t knock you over, his clever left-arm spin bowling definitely would. He was capable of making the best bowlers look like rank amateurs. No wonder he was a permanent fixture in the Lankan side for so long, with 89 one day matches under his belt against India alone.
Jayasuriya and Mahanama were the mainstay of Lankan batting for quite a few years. During the test match in August 1997, they unleashed their prowess upon the Indian bowlers and hammered 340 and 225 runs respectively to take the team to a staggering score of 952 for 6!
Ganguly and Dravid play in contrasting styles and have been known to pick bowlers apart. They did that especially well in the 1999 World Cup in England, putting on 183 and 145 runs for the second wicket. India won the match rather comfortably in the end.