Stats analysis: Kumar Sangakkara's 10,000 Test runs

Sri Lanka's finest in away Tests

Kumar Sangakkara, who became the 11th player to reach the 10000-run mark in Tests, has been the most prolific Sri Lankan batsmen in overseas matches

Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan

December 26, 2012

Comments: 22 | Text size: A | A

Kumar Sangakkara was the only batsman to put up some resistance, Australia v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Melbourne, 1st day, December 26, 2012
Kumar Sangakkara has become the third batsman, after Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar, to get to 10,000 Test runs in his 195th innings © Getty Images
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In the first innings of the Boxing Day Test, Kumar Sangakkara became the second Sri Lankan batsman, and the 11th overall, to reach the 10,000-run mark. Sangakkara, who got to the milestone in his 195th innings, is level on top with Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar on the list of batsmen to reach the mark in the fewest innings. The first man to achieve the landmark at the MCG, Sangakkara crossed 10,000 runs in 115 matches, four more than Lara, who did so in 111 matches. Among the 11 batsmen with 10,000-plus runs, Sangakkara has the second-best average (55.96) behind Jacques Kallis, who averages 56.92. With eight double-centuries, Sangakkara is third on the list of batsmen (Don Bradman and Lara are ahead) with the most 200-plus scores. Like most Sri Lankan batsmen, Sangakkara has extremely impressive numbers at home but the stand-out aspect of his batting has been his ability to produce quality away performances on a consistent basis.

Sangakkara, who has scored over 5600 runs in home Tests, has the highest average (61.25) among Sri Lankan batsmen with 2000-plus runs in Sri Lanka. His tally of centuries at home (18) is second only to Mahela Jayawardene's 22. In contrast to most Sri Lankan batsmen, however, Sangakkara has been a valuable contributor in away Tests too. He has scored 4321 runs outside home at an average of 49.66 with 12 centuries, the highest by a Sri Lankan player. Within the subcontinent, Sangakkara has scored 24 centuries at an average of 60.94.

Outside Asia, Sangakkara has scored six centuries and averages 43.94. Among Sri Lankan batsmen with 1500-plus runs outside the subcontinent, only Marvan Atapattu has a higher average (46.36) and greater number of centuries (7). Against top teams (excluding Bangladesh and Zimbabwe), Sangakkara and Jayawardene have the highest number of centuries (26) among Sri Lankan batsmen but Sangakkara is the only player to average over 50 (batsmen with 2000-plus runs).

All stats updated till the end of the Sri Lanka's first innings in the second Test at the MCG.

Kumar Sangakkara's Test career
  Matches Runs Average 100/50
Overall 115 10018 55.65 30/41
Home 65 5697 61.25 18/20
Away 51 4321 49.66 12/21
In subcontinent 83 7557 60.94 24/28
Outside subcontinent 32 2461 43.94 6/13
Against top teams* 99 8606 53.12 26/35
* Excluding Zimbabwe and Bangladesh

Between his debut (2000) and 2004, Sangakkara played in 44 Tests and averaged 49.27 with seven centuries. His ratio of centuries to fifties (0.38) in this phase, however, was much lower than his overall career figure (0.73). The next four years (2005-2008) turned out to be extremely productive: in 33 matches, Sangakkara scored over 3000 runs at a superb average of 62.57. Interestingly, he also scored more centuries (10) than half-centuries during this prolific phase. Sangakkara's average of 62.57 is the second-highest behind Shivnarine Chanderpaul among batsmen with 3000-plus runs in the period between 2005 and 2008.

In the third phase of his career (2009-present), Sangakkara has scored 13 centuries at an average of 57.29. His ratio of centuries to fifties in this period (0.92) is also higher than the career mark. While Alastair Cook and Kallis have more centuries in the same period, Kallis and Amla have better averages than Sangakkara (minimum 3000 runs).

Three phases of Sangakkara's career
Phase Matches Runs Average 100/50
2000-2004 44 3400 49.27 7/18
2005-2008 33 3066 62.57 10/9
2009-present 38 3552 57.29 13/14

Sangakkara, who has scored consecutive half-centuries in this series, has had an excellent run in Tests in Australia. In five Tests, he has scored 516 runs at an average of 57.33 with a highest of 192 in Hobart. However, he has struggled to match up to the same standards in home Tests against Australia. In six Tests, Sangakkara has managed to score just 335 runs at an average of 30.45, with no hundreds. Against England, he has performed better at home (average 39.22) than away (average 30.58), though both those averages are below par. Sangakkara's highest score in Tests was against South Africa (287), and his home stats against them are impressive: nearly 800 runs in seven home Tests at an average of 65.83. Although his average drops considerably in away Tests (35.75), his overall numbers against South Africa are still very good. While he has been a dominant batsman at home against West Indies, he has surprisingly been ordinary in home Tests against New Zealand (average 34.00). He has, however, done much better in New Zealand, scoring 334 runs at 66.80 with two centuries.

Against the two major subcontinent teams, Sangakkara has been extremely consistent. Against India, he has scored 892 runs in just nine home Tests at an excellent average of 74.33. In India, Sangakkara has not been the same force, managing just 365 runs in six Tests at 36.50. Sangakkara's most extraordinary numbers are in Tests against Pakistan: he has scored over 1000 runs both home and away (nine centuries in all) and averages 89.23. Only Bradman, who has an average of 89.78 against England, is marginally ahead of Sangakkara on the list of batsmen with the highest average against a particular opposition (minimum 2000 runs).

Sangakkara against top teams home and away
Team Home (Matches/Runs) Home (Avg/100s) Away (Matches/Runs) Away (Avg/100s) Overall (Matches/Runs) Overall (avg/100s)
Australia 6/335 30.45/0 5/516 57.33/1 11/851 42.55/1
England 11/706 39.22/1 9/520 30.58/1 20/1226 35.02/2
India 9/892 74.33/4 6/365 36.50/1 15/1257 57.13/5
New Zealand 6/338 37.55/1 4/334 66.80/2 10/672 48.00/3
Pakistan 8/1109 92.41/4 8/1211 86.50/5 16/2320 89.23/9
South Africa 7/790 65.83/2 8/572 35.75/1 15/1362 48.64/3
West Indies 8/680 68.00/3 4/238 34.00/0 12/918 54.00/3
Overall 55/4850 57.73/15 44/3756 48.15/11 99/8606 53.12/26

In comparison to Jayawardene, the first Sri Lankan batsman to reach the 10,000-run mark, Sangakkara has much better numbers in away Tests. Sangakkara has a much higher percentage of away runs (43.13) and a smaller difference (11.59) between his home and away averages. He also has a higher percentage of runs in Tests outside the subcontinent (24.56%) as compared to Jayawardene (18.91%). The difference between averages in and outside the subcontinent (17.00) is also lower for Sangakkara.

While both Sanath Jayasuriya and Aravinda de Silva have a high percentage of away runs, their averages in home and away Tests are significantly lower than those of Sangakkara. Atapattu, on the other hand, scored more than half his runs away and also maintained a better average outside Sri Lanka. He also scored a high percentage (37.07) of his runs outside the subcontinent and ended with a much better average too. His stats outside the subcontinent, however are boosted by his record in Zimbabwe, where he has scored 684 runs at an average of 114.00. In other countries outside the subcontinent, Atapattu's average falls to 35.68 in 21 matches.

Sri Lanka's top batsmen in Tests
Batsman Matches/Runs (overall) Avg/100s (overall) % away runs Home/away (avg) Avg diff 1* In Asia-Outside Asia (avg) % runs outside Asia Avg diff 2*
Mahela Jayawardene 137/10674 49.86/31 35.86 61.12/37.16 23.96 56.34/33.47 18.91 22.87
Kumar Sangakkara 115/10018 55.65/30 43.13 61.25/49.66 11.59 60.94/43.94 24.56 17.00
Sanath Jayasuriya 110/6973 40.07/14 41.00 43.76/35.73 8.03 45.11/30.25 25.59 14.86
Aravinda de Silva 93/6361 42.97/20 48.27 52.22/36.12 16.10 45.21/38.60 30.34 6.61
Marvan Atapattu 90/5502 39.02/16 51.45 38.71/39.31 -1.20 35.69/46.36 37.07 -10.67
Thilan Samaraweera 79/5449 50.36/14 42.68 53.84/45.60 8.24 54.11/39.13 21.54 14.98
Tillakaratne Dilshan 83/5205 41.30/15 48.35 42.00/40.59 1.41 42.06/39.26 25.64 2.80
Arjuna Ranatunga 93/5105 35.69/4 44.15 40.72/30.87 9.85 34.56/39.20 26.87 -4.64
* Avg diff 1 is the difference between home and away averages. Avg diff 2 is the difference between averages in and outside the subcontinent.

Sangakkara and Jayawardene have formed one of the most successful batting combinations in Tests. They are one among only five pairs to aggregate over 5000 partnership runs. The pair also holds the record for the highest Test partnership (624) in the SSC Test against South Africa in 2006. Their average against South Africa (113.58) is the third-highest among all batting pairs with 1000-plus runs against a particular opposition team. Among the five pairs with 5000-plus partnership runs, Sangakkara and Jayawardene have the highest average (55.99). Their stats, however, are skewed in favour of home Tests, where they average 66.23 with 11 century stands. Their aggregate in home Tests (3623) is the highest for any batting pair.

Top batting pairs in Tests (5000-plus partnership runs)
Batting pair Innings Runs Average 100/50
Kumar Sangakkara/Mahela Jayawardene 106 5711 55.99 15/24
Matthew Hayden/Justin Langer 122 6081 51.53 14/28
Sachin Tendulkar/Rahul Dravid 143 6920 50.51 20/29
Gordon Greenidge/Desmond Haynes 148 6482 47.31 16/26
Alastair Cook/Andrew Strauss 132 5253 40.40 14/21

Sangakkara captained Sri Lanka in just 15 Tests scoring seven centuries at an average of 69.60. He also kept wickets in 48 Tests but his batting form clearly suffered in matches where had to take up the wicket-keeping duties. In 67 matches where he did not keep, Sangakkara scored 23 centuries and averaged 67. However, in matches where he played as the wicketkeeper, Sangakkara managed just seven centuries at an average just above 40. He also remained prolific across all four innings with his average ranging from 63.28 in the second innings to 43.71 in the fourth innings. Sangakkara's average of 74.33 in wins is the third-highest after Bradman and Steve Waugh among batsmen with 4000-plus runs in victories.

Since 2002, Sangakkara has been dismissed 97 times by fast bowlers (average 55.94) and 53 times by spinners (66.45). He has fallen most often to Zaheer Khan and James Anderson (six dismissals) followed by Nicky Boje (five times).

Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan is a sub-editor (stats) at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by TATTUs on (December 27, 2012, 10:28 GMT)

Like Jayavardene before him , Sangakkara got there statistically. But he is just an average batsman outside the subcontinent. Yes, not as bad as Jayavardene but still not great. At home he is a difficult batsman to get out and scores runs at a fair clip as well. But not in the top 5 of the batsmen from the last decade.

Posted by ramli on (December 27, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

KS ... the best batsman of SL ... no way ... that is an insult to Aravinda ... Aravinda instilled fear among the opponents and certainly faced better bowlers than KS... even by utility or all round value ... if KS had wicket keeping duties ... Aravinda also had bowling responsibilities ... to say KS was better than Aravinda is baseless ...

Posted by mlkt on (December 27, 2012, 5:59 GMT)

@Ramesh...some missing impact players from ur list....SEHWAG- two triple centuries, imparts fear in opposition minds, is approaching 9000 test runs....STEVE WAUGH- batted with resilience, game saver, captained his team from front.....JAVED MIANDAD- another player with grit and good records against all top teams.....adam gilchrist, mohammad yousuf also come lower down...

Posted by   on (December 27, 2012, 0:29 GMT)

Sangakara didn't keep wicket for entire tests (115 all) he played. See this observation. "He also kept wickets in 48 Tests but his batting form clearly suffered in matches where had to take up the wicket-keeping duties. In 67 matches where he did not keep, Sangakkara scored 23 centuries and averaged 67. However, in matches where he played as the wicket-keeper, Sangakkara managed just seven centuries at an average just above 40". Hence Sangarakara cannot be pround of being the first wicket keeper to reach the milestone of 10000 runs.

Posted by Venki_indian on (December 27, 2012, 0:16 GMT)

@Ramesh Somanathan Jayawardene dont deserve place in your list. Look at his average out side srilanka and subcontinent, u can replace him with Dravid. Sanga is way better than Jayawardene

Posted by   on (December 26, 2012, 19:53 GMT)

@Prabahar_Trichy didnt you read this article before commenting, or just plain stupid? Sanga has scored runs all over the world man, even on green tops...read the darn article

Posted by ultrasnow on (December 26, 2012, 17:18 GMT)

congrats Sanga from an Indian fan. For a relatively new cricketing nation SL is doing awesome. Mahela is another effortless class player.

Posted by vaidyar on (December 26, 2012, 16:16 GMT)

Congrats Sanga! Clearly deserves it. Only SL batsman who can stand up to attacks outside the subcontinent. Too bad SL doesn't play too many tests. He could get right to the top with the kind of average he's got.

Also, time to stop taking his name in the same breath as the hero-at-home-zero-abroad MJ.

Posted by top_SPIN on (December 26, 2012, 15:33 GMT)

Congrats on Sanga's achievement.

Is it Aravinda or Sanga? can we compare?

In support of Aravinda, if my memory serves correct he played since 1984. Hadlee, M. Holding , Malcolm Marshall, Ambrose, Walsh, Imran Khan, Wasim Waquar, Kapil Dev, and at laaast Brett Lee as well.

And then Sri Lankans were not a top tier cricketing nation. They had very few opportunities to get an away test series, especially beyond sub continent. During that time they were always all out.

Given those two reasons and Aravinda's superlative ability to handle fast bowlers , I think he is placed on top of any Sri Lankan batsman.

Arjuna is also another skilled batsman. Aravinda n Arjuna had completely different roles from what Sanath Marvan Mahela Sanga had.

Replace Arjuna and Aravinda from any one above and imagine where they would be today.

Posted by kirksland on (December 26, 2012, 14:43 GMT)

Well done Sangakkara, truely a fantastic achievement. Where does he rank among the modern batsmen.

Tendulkar/ Lara Ponting

Kallis

Sangakkara Smith Dravid Chanderpaul

With improved overseas performance vs England and continued consistent results vs South Africa and Australia he could join Kallis in the tier just below Lara, Tendulkar and Ponting.

Posted by Daanush on (December 26, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

Don't be jealous, He is a only Wicket Keeper Batsman did that, he is a champ.... who can do it again

Posted by Sulaimaan91 on (December 26, 2012, 13:41 GMT)

Sanga has the statistics but he will always be second to Aravinda.Aravinda at his prime didnt play much Test cricket as teams avoided Sri Lanka, had he gotten the chances that have been provided for Sanga/Mahela, he would have had much better statistics.And as ravikb pointed out, Aravinda too played during the same period when not only bowling but many conditions were much more difficult.

@ravikb disagree, Sachin and Lara are the greatest batsman but they'll never dream of doing what Kallis has done with the ball in his hand or in the field.For me, once he has retired he will/should be known as the greatest 'cricketer' ever. Cricket isnt just about batting only..

Posted by   on (December 26, 2012, 13:13 GMT)

he just cant win matches..it's interesting if cricinfo can show number of runs among SL team total as a percentage he scored in wins vs losses...i bet in losses its really really high..another fact aravinda played tests for 17 years and only 93 matches..sanga 12 years more than 100..so u just cant compare pre 96 stats and post 96 stats..if aravinda,m gurusingha or ajuna even roshan and hashan got as many tests as modern SL players get, we could have seen more than 3-4 SL players in 10000 club....

Posted by   on (December 26, 2012, 11:57 GMT)

I dont know about sanga, but kallis deserves to be among sachin and lara

Posted by ameen85 on (December 26, 2012, 11:17 GMT)

@ Prabahar-Trichy, open ur eyes and read the stats again.

Posted by ravikb on (December 26, 2012, 11:07 GMT)

Sangakkara, Ponting, Kallis, etc will never ever match Sachin and Lara. Only reason being the former set of players scored runs when bowling standards have dropped drastically since 2000 where as Sachin and Lara dominated during 1990's where bowlers were just too good.

Posted by Prabahar_Trichy on (December 26, 2012, 9:58 GMT)

Sanga, A flat track bully...

Posted by mcsdl on (December 26, 2012, 9:43 GMT)

Sangakkara clearly the best batsman of this generation (year 2000 onwards)..!

Posted by   on (December 26, 2012, 9:33 GMT)

10K runs is no joke. He must be regarded as one of the modern greats.

Posted by Meety on (December 26, 2012, 9:10 GMT)

Sangakarra is a champ. My favourite non-Ozzy player.

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