Top five run-getters in the history of India-Sri Lanka bilateral Test series
Virat Kohli-led Team India embark on a new journey with head coach Ravi Shastri at the helm for a full series comprising of three Tests, five ODIs and a one-off T20I against Sri Lanka, starting July 26.
The two Asian cricketing superpowers have engaged in numerous gripping Test affairs over the years.
The two nations share 35 years of Test history between them as they have played 38 Tests with India hosting 21, while Sri Lanka hosted 17 of them.
As far as statistics are concerned, India have never lost a 5-day game against Lanka at home and have won 10 out of 17 away Tests.
Although, Sri Lanka have also dominated India in their den, India fare slightly better than them in away matches. Out of the 21 Tests played on the Lankan soil, India have won six of them. Sri Lanka have won seven of those while drawing eight.
However, Sri Lanka didn’t have the best of times in their last two series against India at home. Three out of India’s six Test victories in Sri Lanka have come in the last five years. They drew the 2010 Series 1-1 and won the last series in 2015 by a 2-1 margin.
There is a high possibility that India might outplay Sri Lanka in the upcoming Test series considering the fact that the hosts are without the likes of Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Muttiah Muralitharan.
Let us now go down the memory lane and have a look at five top-scorers of the India-Sri Lanka encounters in Tests over the years.
Aravinda de Silva
With 1252 runs in 19 Tests against India at an average of 41.73, Aravinda de Silva takes the fifth spot on the list of top-scorers in the India-Sri Lanka encounters.
The prolific middle-order Sri Lankan batsman was well-known for his free-flowing style of batting.
With his brilliant stroke play, De Silva was a treat for sore eyes as he could hit pace and spin with almost equal ease.
With De Silva batting at one end, the opposition was always under pressure as he was capable of doing the impossible with his positive brand of cricket.
The Sri Lankan legend had a rather subdued start against India. De Silva played his first Test against India in 1985 but his first hundred came in 1993 when he smashed 148 in Colombo.
The year 1997, however, was the best for De Silva against India as he scored three hundreds at home and smashed an unbeaten 110 at Mohali in the return series.
With 1352 runs in 17 Tests at an average of 52.00, including five hundreds and two fifties, Kumar Sangakkara takes the fourth spot on the list of top-scorers in the India-Sri Lanka encounters.
The wicket-keeper batsman, who continues to make his mark in the world of cricket with his exploits for the English county side Surrey, is considered to be one of the most stylish batsmen in the history of cricket.
Sangakkara is considered one of the greatest Sri Lanka batsmen for his wide array of strokes and his ability to make any bowling attack toil for days.
The recently retired batsman was known to make big hundreds and was one of the most dependable batsmen in Sri Lanka's arsenal for over a decade.
Sangakkara started his Test career in 2000 and in his first match against India the following year, he scored a ton at Galle.
It is clearly evident from Sangakkara's numbers and conversion rate, how much he enjoyed batting against India. In 2010, he made 219 against India at Colombo as Sri Lanka made 642.
With 1508 runs in 20 Tests at an average of 48.64, including three hundreds and nine fifties, Rahul takes the third spot on the list of top-scorers in the India-Sri Lanka encounters.
Dravid thrived at number three in India's formidable Test line-up.
Well-known for being highly technically sound, the Karnataka batsman was one of the pillars of India's envious batting line-up that boasted of names like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Dravid and VVS Laxman in the top four.
Dravid made hundreds in consecutive Tests against Sri Lanka in 2009 with 177 at Ahmedabad, followed by 144 at Kanpur.
With 1822 runs in 18 Tests at a mind-boggling average of 67.48, Mahela Jayawardene takes the second spot on the list of top-scorers in the India-Sri Lanka encounters.
When Jayawardene started his career, De Silva and Sanath Jayasuriya were the names dominating Sri Lankan cricket.
With his grit and determination, Jayawardene carved a niche for himself and went on to become one of the most successful batsmen to hail from the island nation.
The former Sri Lankan skipper took a special liking to India and some of his best knocks have come against the neighbours. Most remembered among them could be a hundred in the 2011 World Cup final in a losing cause.
In Tests, out of Jayawardene's 34 Test hundreds, six have come against India with a highest of 275 in 2009 at Ahmedabad. That double-hundred was Jayawardene's second against India with his first being a 242 at Colombo in 1999.
It should not come as a surprise that the Master Blaster, who tops most cricket list in the world, has topped this one too.
In a career spanning over two decades, Tendulkar played 25 of the 38 Tests between India and Sri Lanka.
With 1995 runs at an average of 60.45, Tendulkar is the leading run-scorer on the list of top-scorers in the India-Sri Lanka encounters.
Tendulkar hit a hundred in just his second Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 1993. Another hundred followed in the return series the next year at Lucknow.
In 1997, he made back-to-back hundreds in Colombo and yet another in Mumbai later that year. He endured a dry period of four years against Sri Lanka between 2005 and 2009 before getting back to groove with an unbeaten hundred in Ahmedabad. The following year he made a 203, his highest score against Lanka.
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