Ishant Sharma has the best figures for India in four countries:    Getty Images
Ishant Sharma has the best innings figures for an Indian pacer in four overseas countries: Sri Lanka, England, West Indies, and New Zealand Getty Images

Ishant Sharma s 5 for 54 in the first innings and match figures of 8 for 86 in the third Test against Sri Lanka at SSC, Colombo are the best innings and match figures by an Indian pacer in Sri Lanka. Bharath Seervi lists best innings and match figures by Indian pace bowlers in each away country. READ: Ishant Sharma takes 200th Test wicket on Day 5 of India vs Sri Lanka 2015, 3rd Test at Colombo (SSC)

Indian spearhead Ishant Sharma produced another five-wicket haul in an overseas Test match. He picked up 5 for 54 in the first innings of the third Test against Sri Lanka at Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo. This was his seventh five-wicket haul in Tests and sixth outside India. His figures are also the best by an Indian pace bowler in Sri Lanka. READ: Ishant Sharma s over-the-top aggression would serve India well overseas

Apart from the best figures by an Indian pacer in Sri Lanka, Ishant has the best figures in England, New Zealand and West Indies. He took 7 for 74 at Lord s in 2014, 6 for 51 at Wellington in 2013-14 and 6 for 55 at Kensington Oval in 2011, all of which are best figures by Indian pacers in the respective countries. Of the nine away countries, Ishant has the best figures among Indian pacers in four. This is a remarkable achievement for someone often criticised for his inconsistency. READ: Ishant Sharma, the new 200 Test wickets club member, turns 27

Ishant Sharma s five-wicket hauls in Tests

Figures Inns Opposition Venue Date
7/74 4 England Lord’s 17-Jul-14
6/51 1 New Zealand Wellington 14-Feb-14
6/55 2 West Indies Kensington Oval 28-Jun-11
6/134 1 New Zealand Eden Park 06-Feb-14
5/54 2 Sri Lanka SSC 28-Aug-15
5/77 1 West Indies Roseau 06-Jul-11
5/118 2 Pakistan Chinnaswamy 08-Dec-07

– Ishant has at least one five-wicket haul in four away countries. He has not achieved this in Australia, South Africa and Bangladesh. He has not played a Test in Pakistan and Zimbabwe. READ: India finally break their shackles with historic series win against Sri Lanka

Let us check the best figures by an Indian pace bowler in each away country.

Best innings figures by Indian pace bowlers in each away country in Tests

Host Figures Bowler Inns Venue Season
Australia 8/106 Kapil Dev 1 Adelaide Oval 1985-86
Bangladesh 7/87 Zaheer Khan 3 Dhaka 2009-10
England 7/74 Ishant Sharma 4 Lord’s 2014
New Zealand 6/51 Ishant Sharma 1 Wellington 2013-14
Pakistan 8/85 Kapil Dev 1 Lahore 1982-83
South Africa 6/76 Javagal Srinath 1 St George s Park 2001-02
Sri Lanka 5/54 Ishant Sharma 2 SSC 2015
West Indies 6/55 Ishant Sharma 2 Kensington Oval 2011
Zimbabwe 7/59 Irfan Pathan 1 Harare 2005

– Ishant has the best figures in four away countries; he has not played in two of the others (Pakistan and Zimbabwe).

– Ishant has taken five-wicket hauls only in four away countries. They are also the best by Indian pacers in those countries. Interesting.

– Kapil Dev is the only other Indian to have the best figures in multiple countries. He holds the best bowling figures among Indian pacers in both Australia and Pakistan. Both were 8-wicket hauls. READ: Did Ishant Sharma and Dhammika Prasad really cross a line in India vs Sri Lanka 2015, 3rd Test?

Ishant Sharma s eight for 86 in that third Test against Sri Lanka are the best match figures by any Indian pace bowlers in the country. Ishant has the best figures among Indian pace bowlers in two other countries New Zealand and West Indies.

Host Figures Bowler Venue Season
Australia 8/109 Kapil Dev Adelaide Oval 1985-86
Bangladesh 11/96 Irfan Pathan Dhaka 2004-05
England 10/188 Chetan Sharma Edgbaston 1986
New Zealand 9/162 Ishant Sharma Eden Park 2013-14
Pakistan 8/85 Kapil Dev Lahore 1982-83
South Africa 10/153 Venkatesh Prasad Kingsmead 1996-97
Sri Lanka 8/86 Ishant Sharma SSC 2015
West Indies 10/108 Ishant Sharma Kensington Oval 2011
Zimbabwe 12/126 Irfan Pathan Harare 2005

– Ishant has the best match figures among Indian pace bowlers in most countries as well three.

– Kapil (Australia and Pakistan) and Irfan Pathan (Bangladesh and Zimbabwe) have the best in two countries each. The other two are Venkatesh Prasad (South Africa) and Chetan Sharma (England).

– No Indian pacer has taken a ten-wicket haul in Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan or Sri Lanka. READ: Ishant Sharma to Dhammika Prasad: Hit me on my head!

– In fact, no Indian pacer has taken an eleven-wicket haul in any country barring Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

Though Ishant has less wickets and five-wicket hauls among Indian pace bowlers, he has the best figures in most number of away countries. That makes him special.

(Bharath Seervi is a cricket statistician who is obsessed with digging numbers, facts and records related to the game. An active member of Society of Cricket Statisticians of India, he blogs at www.cricketseervistats.blogspot.com. He can be followed on Twitter at @SeerviBharath and on Facebook here)