Sunday, July 18, 2010

Srilanka vs India - Test History

 India vs Sri Lanka: Looking Back

An India-Sri Lanka Test series may not sound that mouth-watering a contest like the Ashes, but it no doubt, has its own aura. The battle between the two neighbours is not just about skills but also about patience. History is testimony to the fact that it tests the players’ endurance to the hilt. 

Considering the hot and humid conditions in the island nation, the series is bound to be a test of character for players from both sides.

For the record, India were the first country to play Sri Lanka after the ICC granted the Islanders Test status in 1981. Since then, the two cricketing superpowers have locked horns 32 times and produced some classical contests.

If India boast of players like Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, Sri Lanka has the great Muthiah Muralitharan and the elegant Mahela Jayawardene.

Statistics suggest that India has had the upper hand more often than not against the Islanders but, beating Sri Lanka in their own den has always been tough. 

Sri Lanka have the upper hand at home with five wins from 15 Tests, with India securing three victories. Seven matches have ended in draws. 

Of the 32 matches played between the two sides, India have won 13 while Sri Lanka prevailed on five occasions.

Sri Lanka, once considered the underdogs, have transformed themselves into a major cricketing force and have earned the reputation of giant killers – a tag they acquired during the 1996 World Cup triumph under Arjuna Ranatunga.

Going into the series, the two teams are evenly poised, despite India being the numero uno Test side. The spin-friendly tracks of Sri Lanka are bound to help the spinners from both sides. If Sri Lanka have Muralitharan in their side then India will bank on Harbhajan Singh. 

Watch out for contests like Murali versus Sehwag and Harbhajan versus Jayawardene.

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