India and Sri Lanka have played each other in 49 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) since January 2008. The frequency of encounters between the two sides has baffled cricket fans in recent years and the overkill has been responsible for some boredom. Nishad Pai Vaidya picks eight statistics that reflect the overkill.
With West Indies pulling out of the tour to India, Sri Lanka have agreed to fly down for a five-match One-Day International (ODI) series. India vs Sri Lanka! Ohh no, not again! Fans from both nations have seen their sides take on each other too many times since the Commonwealth Bank Series Down Under in 2008. Familiarity breeds between the two sides as they are well versed with each others strengths and weaknesses owing to the frequent encounters.
Here are some numbers that put that overkill in perspective.
1. India and Sri Lanka have played each other 49 times since January 2008. That is the most encounters teams have had against each other in ODIs since then. Australia and England are next on the list as they have played 34 ODIs. Pakistan and Sri Lanka, two teams who supposedly play each other many times, have faced off 32 times since 2008.
2. India have played 191 ODIs since January 2008. Which means that 25.65 percent of their ODIs since then have come against Sri Lanka. India have won 29 of those encounters.
3. Sri Lanka have played 187 ODIs since January 2008. That too is a percentage of 25.65 i.e. the no of games against India. Sri Lanka have won 17 of those encounters.
4. Virat Kohli made his ODI debut during the tour to Sri Lanka in 2008. He has played 35 out of his 141 ODIs against Sri Lanka and has scored 1527 of his 5879 runs against them. Out of his 20 tons, five have come against Sri Lanka. Thus, he has scored 26 percent of his runs and 25 percent of his tons against Sri Lanka. Interestingly, he is yet to play a Test match against Sri Lanka.
5. Though Ishant Sharma hasn’t been a fixture in the Indian one-day side, he has had his fair share of success against Sri Lanka. Out of his 72 ODIs, he has played 22 ODIs against them and has taken 37 of his 102 wickets in these encounters. Considering the fact that Ishant has been irregular in ODIs, 22 ODIs against a single opposition is a reflection of the perpetual India-Sri Lanka cricket.
6. Kumar Sangakkara has scored 1785 runs against India in ODIs since January 2008. That is the most number of runs a batsman has scored against a single opposition in ODIs since 2008. In fact, in the list of the most successful batsmen against a single opposition since 2008, the top six are batsmen from the India-Sri Lanka encounters — out of the top ten, it is seven. MS Dhoni is behind Sangakkara with 1596 runs in 41 matches against Sri Lanka. Tillakaratne Dilshan has scored 1594 runs against India in 43 games. Gautam Gambhir has amassed 1537 runs in 35 matches against Sri Lanka. Virat Kohli is fifth on the list with 1527 runs in 35 matches against Sri Lanka. Mahela Jayawardene is sixth with 1370 runs in India-Sri Lanka encounters.
Most ODI runs scored against a single opposition since January 2008:
7. The R Premadasa Stadium has hosted as many as 11 ODIs between India and Sri Lanka since 2008. The Rangiri Stadium, Dambulla is second on the list with eight.
8. India and Sri Lanka have faced off in seven tri-angular tournaments since 2008. In the same period, they have played each other in four Asia Cups, one World Cup and a Champions Trophy. In all these tournaments, they have played seven finals against each other — four of which have been won by India and three by Sri Lanka.
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