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From Dhoni at Jaipur to Rohit at Eden – the best of India v Sri Lanka

Wisden India logo Wisden India 10-02-2016

India and Sri Lanka have faced each other so many times in the recent past that the number of clashes between the two has often been the source of some mirth among fans.

However, despite what a few may call an overdose, clashes between the two have never been short of excitement. From Virender Sehwag’s remarkable assault in Mumbai in 2009, to Rohit Sharma’s record-breaking double century, and the enduring image of MS Dhoni’s six over long-on that gave India a World Cup crown after 28 years, India-Sri Lanka matches have never been short of memorable moments.

Ahead of the latest installment between the two Asian giants, we look at ten records that were created in an India-Sri Lanka encounter.

Sri Lanka’s 952 for 6

From Dhoni at Jaipur to Rohit at Eden – the best of India v Sri Lanka © Wisden From Dhoni at Jaipur to Rohit at Eden – the best of India v Sri Lanka

In response to India’s 537 for 8 declared in the first Test of their tour of Sri Lanka in 1997, the home side began what would go on to become a marathon innings at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Sanath Jayasuriya’s 340 was then the highest score by a Sri Lankan and remains the longest Test innings by a Sri Lankan by balls (578) and minutes (799). He put on 576 with Roshan Mahanama, which is still the biggest second-wicket partnership in Test history. India’s bowlers, naturally, went through a nightmare, with Rajesh Chauhan conceding 276 runs, the most by any Indian bowler in an innings and the second highest in Test history. The Lankan run feast ended at 952 for 6 – the highest total in Test history. However, with the match itself tapering into a tame draw, Jayasuriya’s triple hundred does not feature in the ten highest impact innings of his Test career.

Ganguly and Dravid’s 318-run stand

From Dhoni at Jaipur to Rohit at Eden – the best of India v Sri Lanka © Wisden From Dhoni at Jaipur to Rohit at Eden – the best of India v Sri Lanka

In the 21st match of the 1999 World Cup at Taunton, India rode on a mammoth 318-run second-wicket partnership between Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid to post a massive 373 for 6. The partnership remains the best for any wicket between both sides and is the third highest stand for any wicket in ODI history. Dravid’s 145 was his third-highest impact performance in ODIs, while Ganguly’s 183 was his career-best. In reply, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 216, with Robin Singh returning 5 for 31, becoming the oldest Indian to take a five-for in ODIs, at 35 years and 254 days.

Jayasuriya’s 189 and India’s lowest total

From Dhoni at Jaipur to Rohit at Eden – the best of India v Sri Lanka © Wisden From Dhoni at Jaipur to Rohit at Eden – the best of India v Sri Lanka

In the final of the 2000 Coca-Cola Champions Trophy that also involved Zimbabwe, Sanath Jayasuriya smashed a career-best 189 at Sharjah – the highest score by a Sri Lankan captain in ODIs and the second highest by any captain after Virender Sehwag’s double-century against West Indies. Jayasuriya’s carnage took Sri Lanka to 299 for 5. In reply, India were shot out for a paltry 54 – their lowest-ever ODI score. The 245-run defeat remains India’s heaviest ever in ODIs. Jayasuriya’s 189, which alone amounted to over 53 percent of the total runs made in the match, is the highest impact performance in ODI history. As it came in the final, it also ended up being a series-defining performance.

Muttiah Muralitharan’s 8 for 87

From Dhoni at Jaipur to Rohit at Eden – the best of India v Sri Lanka © Wisden From Dhoni at Jaipur to Rohit at Eden – the best of India v Sri Lanka

In the series-deciding third and final Test during India’s tour of Sri Lanka in 2001, Muralitharan ran through the Indian order with his guile and mastery at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo. India, who seemed on course to a big first-innings total, were bundled out for 234, Murali finishing with 8 for 87, the best figures registered in an India-Sri Lanka Test. He returned to take three more in the second innings after Sri Lanka took a massive lead as India were dished out an innings defeat. However, in the context of the match, it was only his second-highest impact performance against India. His highest came in Colombo in the first Test of the 2008 series where he returned a match haul of 11 for 110.

MS Dhoni’s 183 not out

From Dhoni at Jaipur to Rohit at Eden – the best of India v Sri Lanka © Wisden From Dhoni at Jaipur to Rohit at Eden – the best of India v Sri Lanka

Bold, brawny and domineering – not too long before he took over as captain, MS Dhoni arrived with a bang and quickly carved a reputation for himself as someone who could hit the cricket ball extremely hard. Never was that more evident than in the third ODI at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur during Sri Lanka’s tour of India in 2005. In a brutal display of batting, Dhoni put Sri Lanka’s bowlers to the sword in a manner few have, and belted an unbeaten 183 to almost single-handedly help India chase down a 299-run target with little fuss. Dhoni’s 145-ball knock contained an astonishing 15 fours and 10 sixes and is the highest score by a wicketkeeper in ODIs. Unsurprisingly, it is the highest impact innings of his ODI career and the sixth-highest in India’s ODI history.

Ajantha Mendis’s debut series

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Ajantha Mendis announced his arrival on the Test stage in the most emphatic manner and stunned the famed Indian middle order with his mystery spin. Mendis ended his maiden Test, at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, with a match haul of 8 for 132 – the best for any Sri Lankan bowler on Test debut. The Summer of Mendis concluded with 8 for 137 in the third and final Test at the P Sara Oval in Colombo, which was his highest impact performance in the series. With Sri Lanka clinching the series 2-1, it also proved to be a series-defining one. Mendis is one of just four players in Sri Lankan Test history to produce a series-defining performance in his debut series – Chamara Dunusinghe, Chamara Silva and Dhammika Prasad are the others. Mendis ended his maiden series with 26 wickets, the highest-ever for a debutant in a three-Test assignment.

Virender Sehwag’s 293

From Dhoni at Jaipur to Rohit at Eden – the best of India v Sri Lanka © Wisden From Dhoni at Jaipur to Rohit at Eden – the best of India v Sri Lanka

In one of the most ruthless and spectacular displays of batting in Test cricket, Virender Sehwag annihilated the Sri Lankan attack with his brazen strokeplay at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, scoring a remarkable 284 unbeaten runs in one day, the most ever by an Indian batsman. By that time, Sehwag had also registered the highest number of double centuries in Test cricket by an Indian. He fell seven short of becoming the first man ever to score three triple tons, but his 293 is the highest any Indian has made against Sri Lanka. Sehwag scored 40 boundaries – a record for India-Sri Lanka Tests, and 202 of his runs through fours and sixes, an Indian record against any team. It is the highest impact innings by any batsman in a Test match between the two sides and the highest impact innings of his own career as well.

Tillakaratne Dilshan’s 160

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Not long after that double century, Sehwag’s superb form extended into the ODIs as well as he made 146 in the first ODI of the same tour, at the Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground in Rajkot, to take India to a massive 414 for 7. Sri Lanka, however, refused to crumble under pressure and came up with a spirited fightback in a match that went down to the last ball. Tillakaratne Dilshan anchored the chase beautifully with 160 off 124 balls, but Sri Lanka fell agonisingly short by three runs. Dilshan’s knock is the highest by a Sri Lankan batsman in a losing cause.

Chandimal becomes Sri Lanka’s youngest ODI centurion

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Chasing 269 in the fifth match of a triangular series that also involved Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka rode on a 118-ball 111 from Dinesh Chandimal to win by six wickets at Harare. Chandimal was 20 years and 199 days old at the time of the knock, making him Sri Lanka’s youngest ODI centurion. Chandimal’s knock was the second-highest impact innings of his ODI career, after the unbeaten 105 off 126 balls against England at Lord’s in 2011. Sri Lanka’s oldest ODI centurion is Sanath Jayasuriya, who also achieved the feat against India at the age of 39 years and 212 days in 2009, when he made 107 at Dambulla – his last ODI ton.

Rohit Sharma’s 264

From Dhoni at Jaipur to Rohit at Eden – the best of India v Sri Lanka © Wisden From Dhoni at Jaipur to Rohit at Eden – the best of India v Sri Lanka

On a historic night at the Eden Gardens, against a Sri Lanka team bereft of confidence after three successive thrashings, Rohit Sharma re-wrote record books with an unbelievable innings of 264 off 173 balls, becoming the first, and so far only, man to score two double centuries in ODIs. Rohit registered the highest individual score in ODIs, while the incredible 33 boundaries and 186 runs from fours and sixes that he amassed are world records as well. As per Impact Index findings, however, Rohit’s 264 ranks only sixth among the highest impact innings in ODI history. When it comes to India-Sri Lanka, it is second only to Jayasuriya’s 189.

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