Review of Sri Lanka-Australia Test series, 2016

Sri Lanka recorded its first 3-0 “whitewash” of Australia. They had already inflicted this on West Indies and Zimbabwe in 2001-02 and Bangladesh in 2007. Sri Lanka has never played a series of 4 or more Tests.

It was also pointed out that Australia were “whitewashed” in their previous tours in Asia since early 2013: 4-0 by India, 2-0 by Pakistan in UAE and now 3-0 by Sri Lanka.

For the 29 Tests between these countries, Australia lead Sri Lanka 17-4 with 8 draws. In Australia it is 11-0 with 2 draws. In Sri Lanka, Australia still lead 6-4 with 6 draws. Until this series Sri Lanka had only won one Test against Australia, which was in 1999-2000.

Sri Lanka has won Tests in all countries except Australia and India.

Coming to the specifics of SL-Aus Tests:Batting

Most runs (500 and more):

Batting-overall

Mathews is the only current player here.

Highest innings (135 and more):

Batting-innings

Kusal Mendis is the only current player here. He recorded the highest score for SL v Aus in SL, surpassing Gurusinha’s 137 in 1992. However the overall SL v Aus record is 192 by Sangakkara in 2007-08.

M Hussey is the only one with 5 centuries. No one else scored more than 3.

The most 50-plus scores are 8 by Clarke, Ponting and Sangakkara.

Now for batting averages (minimum 20 innings, all instances):

Batting-averages

Strike rates are also available for all of these cases. Jayasuriya has the highest with 65.70, far ahead of others who are in the low 50s.

Now for bowling:

Most wickets (12 and above):

Bowling-overall

Herath with his 26-wicket haul in this series crossed Warne and Muralitharan to top this list. Starc, Lyon and Dilruwan Perera are also here.

Best innings bowling (6wi and above):

Bowling-innings

Herath (3 times), Starc and Dilruwan Perera make this list. Herath’s 7-64 is the best for SL v Aus, surpassing his earlier record of 7-157 in 2011. Starc’s 6-50 is the best for Aus v SL in SL.

Best match bowling (8wm and above):

Bowling-match

Herath (13-145) and Starc (11-94) recorded the best for their teams. Again the records of Muralitharan and Warne have been toppled. Herath (again) and Dilruwan Perera appear lower down.

Bowling averages (minimum 2000 balls bowled, all instances):

Bowling-average

Herath has the best average.

Vaas has the best economy rate, just ahead of Herath and Warne.

Herath has the best strike rate.

Now for fielding:

Most dismissals (10 and more):

Fielding-overall

The first few names are not surprising. The most stumpings are 6 by Kaluwitharana, most catches by keepers are 32 by Gilchrist and Healy, and the most by non-keepers is 20 by M Jayawardene followed by 16 by Ponting.

Nevill and Smith are the only current players here.

The best fielding in an innings is 5 by Gilchrist and Healy.

The best match fielding is 8 by Gilchrist and Healy (who else?) followed by non-keeper Hayden with 7. That was a share in the world Test record for some years until Rahane surpassed it with 8 last year.

Best dismissal rate (minimum 20 innings fielded, all instances):

Fielding-rate

Sangakkara heads this list, while Gilchrist and Healy did not play enough in these Tests to be counted. M Jayawardene has the best rate for non-keepers, followed by Warne.

All-round performance (overall):

AR-overall

Vaas is the only one to have pretensions of being an all-rounder. See the modest criteria to be met here.

All-round performances (match): Fifty-plus innings and 5wi in the match:

AR-match

Only two instances here, including Dilruwan Perera whose contribution is more than that of Reiffel.

 

 

The Test debutants of 2015

Here we look at the players who made their Test debuts in 2015, and the highlights of their performances.

We start with batting, listing those who scored at least a fifty:

Debut 2015-batting

Only one centurion-but Adam Voges went on to cross 1000 by the end of the year. Ronchi played in only that one Test, Dowrich played in 2 and was not heard of again. Kusal Perera hit two fifties on debut but is now under a doping cloud. CR Brathwaite started promisingly in the end of the year and scored another lower-order fifty in the new year.

The best innings bowling figures (minimum 4 wickets):

Debut-inngs bowling

The only five-for was by Rashid, after he took 0-163 in the first innings which is the worst innings bowling by a debutant. He played in 3 Tests of that series but did not go on the tour to South Africa. The others made steady progress without anything spectacular.

The best match bowling figures (minimum 6 wickets):

Debut-match bowling

As mentioned above, these three bowlers progressed steadily.

Best innings fielding (minimum 4 dismissals)

Debut-innings dismissals

Only Australia’s wicketkeeper Peter Nevill qualifies. He has held on to his place in the team.

Best match fielding (minimum 4 dismissals)

Debut-match dismissals

Ronchi and Ojha have not played Tests again, Nevill is thriving and Perera’s future is uncertain at least in the short term.

Best all-round performance of batting and fielding (mimimum 50 runs and 4 dismissals)

Debut-allround-fielding

All three have not been fortunate, as mentioned above.

Best all-round performance of batting and bowling (minimum 20 runs and 2 wickets in match)

Debut-allround

This is really scraping the bottom of the barrel-but these are the best all-round performances on debut which can be found. They have continued to play steadily without major scores in Tests.