Last week, Team India won yet another Test series against Sri Lanka. This was the second bilateral series between the two teams in a few months. In July-August, India toured Sri Lanka and thumped the home side 9-0 across all formats.
It was India’s ninth consecutive Test series win. The first of these took place in 2015 tour to Sri Lanka. Despite the 1-0 series win, India have lost one point in the ICC Test team ranking.India have played 30 Tests during the last nine Test series, won 21 and lost two. Australia had played 26 Tests and won 22 without losing a match in their nine-series streak.
India have won six series at home and three abroad. Australia too had six home and three away series wins.
Interestingly, in nine consecutive Test series wins, skippers Virat Kohli and Ricky Pointing remained the most successful batsmen with 2707 and 2790 runs, respectively.Drawing two Tests in India is a big achievement for Sri Lanka as it was one of the most inexperienced team to tour India. In Delhi, Sri Lanka recorded the highest fourth-innings total (299-5) against India in India. The tourists absorbed immense pressure from the Indian bowlers and charged crowed on the last day.
De Silva’s innings was the highlight of the first two sessions of the fifth day as he was hardly troubled by the Indian bowlers during his third Test hundred.Young De Silva made his Test debut last year, scoring two centuries, but was dropped after a string of low scores. He was called up for the first time this series to replace No 3 Lahiru Thirimanne.
Sri Lanka were never going to chase 410, but did well enough to bat as many as 102 overs in the second innings, finishing at 299 for five. The Roshen-Dickwella pair added 94 runs for the unbroken sixth-wicket stand as India did not get a single wicket in the final session.
During the second Test, Indian ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin became the fastest bowler to reach 300 Test wickets. He achieved the milestone in his 54th match, breaking the record of Australia’s Dennis Lillee who had taken 300 wickets in 56 Test matches.
Ashwin is only the fifth Indian bowler to reach 300 wickets in Test cricket. The other four are Anil Kumble (619), Kapil Dev (434), Harbhajan Singh (417) and Zaheer Khan (311).“I really hope I can go on to double these 300 wickets as I have only played 50 Tests,” Ashwin said.
After the three-Test series against Sri Lank, Ashwin’s wickets tally is now 304, with an average of 25.44 runs.Rangana Herath, who was the hero of Pak-Sri Lanka Test series with 17 wickets, averaging 17.31, remained ineffective against India and took only one wicket in two Test matches, conceding 115 runs.
Herath’s career average against India is 48.06. He has taken only 33 wickets in 18 matches against them while against Pakistan he has 104 wickets in 40 Tests, at an average of 28.07.
Kohli scored 610 runs with three centuries during the series, averaging 152.50. Kohli’s 610 runs is the fourth highest score in a three-Test series. Former England captain Graham Gooch holds the top position with 752 runs which he scored against India in 1990.
Kohli also set a new Indian record by scoring over 600 runs in a Test series for the third time. He surpassed Sunil Gavaskar and Rahul Dravid who did so twice.
In 2017, Kohli scored 2818 runs in all international formats — the third highest ever in a calendar year. Former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara is on the top with 2868 runs in 2014. Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting scored 2833 runs in 2005.
Virat was in a very good position to break Sangakkara’s record, but the BCCI rested him for ODI and T20 series against Sri Lanka due to which the third Test was his last match in 2017.
With this tremendous performance, Kohli has moved to the second spot from sixth with 893 points. He is just behind Australian skipper Steve Smith who stands on the top with 938 points. Kohli holds the top position in ODI and T20I ranking.
Only Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden have had the honour of keeping the top position in all three formats.Sri Lanka’s captain Dinesh Chandimal was the top scorer of the Test series for Sri Lanka with 366 runs, including one hundred and two fifties with the average of 61.Chandimal moved to ninth position in the ICC Test players ranking. It is the first time he is among the top 10 Test batsmen.