Sri Lanka v India, Asia Cup final, 2010 June 23, 2010

History favours Sri Lanka

Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan
A stats preview of the Asia Cup final between India and Sri Lanka in Dambulla

India and Sri Lanka have played 29 ODIs against each other over the last two-and-a-half years, but the clash on Thursday will have more significance than most of those matches, for they will be playing for the Asia Cup. India haven't won the tournament since 1994-95, while Sri Lanka triumphed in 2004 and in 2008. The home also team won the last group match on Tuesday, but India have dominated Sri Lanka recently, holding a 16-11 advantage since 2008, and an 8-5 edge in matches played in Sri Lanka during this period. The numbers were more even between 2000 and 2007, with Sri Lanka winning 14 and losing 15.

India v Sri Lanka in ODIs over the years
Matches played India won Sri Lanka won
2000-2007 33 15 14
2008 onwards 29 16 11

India have had the advantage over Sri Lanka over the last few years, but in multi-team tournaments the Sri Lankans have proven to be the better team. In matches contested in the Asia Cup overall, Sri Lanka are only slightly ahead of India. But in Asia Cup matches since 2000, they have been the more dominant side. India will definitely go into the game under pressure considering they have been outclassed in multi-team competitions, especially in the finals. Sri Lanka have won six finals against them since 2000 while India have won just one, when they triumphed in the Compaq Cup in 2009

India vs Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup and other multi-team tournaments
Matches played Matches won by India Matches won by Sri Lanka
Asia Cup overall 16 7 9
Asia Cup since 1st Jan 2000 7 2 5
In all multi-team tournaments since 2000 35 13 19
In tournament finals since 2000 9 1 6

Sri Lanka also hold the edge when it comes to matches in Dambulla, which is the venue for the Asia Cup final.

India vs Sri Lanka in Dambulla
Matches played Matches won by India Matches won by Sri Lanka
7 2 5

The tables below summarise the performance of Indian and Sri Lankan batsmen in matches against each other. The Indian batsmen, led by their captain MS Dhoni, have performed consistently over the last two years against Sri Lanka. Dhoni averages almost 60 with ten fifties, while middle-order batsmen Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have been successful too. Rohit, in particular, will take confidence into the final after a half-century in the previous game.

Performance of Indian top-order batsmen against Sri Lanka since January 1 2008
Batsman Matches played Runs scored Average 100 50
MS Dhoni 25 1079 59.94 1 10
Gautam Gambhir 24 884 44.20 3 4
Suresh Raina 25 662 34.84 1 5
Virat Kohli 16 591 45.46 1 5
Rohit Sharma 17 440 40.00 1 2

The Sri Lankan top-order batsmen have not had as successful a time against India over the last two years. Tillakaratne Dilshan stands out, though, with two centuries and an average of over 40. The fine form of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, who both scored fifties in the last group match, augurs well for Sri Lanka ahead of the final.

Performance of Sri Lanka's top order against India since January 1 2008
Batsman Matches played Runs scored Average 100 50
Tillakaratne Dilshan 27 969 40.37 2 4
Kumar Sangakkara 27 1002 38.53 1 9
Mahela Jayawardene 25 702 35.10 0 7
Chamara Kapugedera 23 465 24.47 0 2
Thillana Kandamby 16 455 41.36 0 3

Among the bowlers, Harbhajan Singh has been outstanding for India while Pragyan Ojha has been economical. Nuwan Kulasekara has picked up the most wickets in India-Sri Lanka matches over the last two years, but Muttiah Muralitharan's performance has dropped significantly . Farveez Maharoof is in form, though, following his hat-trick in the last game.

Performance of Indian bowlers against Sri Lanka since Jan 2008
Bowler Matches Wickets Average Economy rate
Harbhajan Singh 17 26 22.69 4.52
Zaheer Khan 17 24 31.33 4.84
Praveen Kumar 12 17 28.41 4.86
Pragyan Ojha 11 13 33.00 4.29

Performance of Sri Lankan bowlers against India since Jan 2008
Bowler Matches Wickets Average Economy rate
Nuwan Kulasekara 20 30 29.23 5.17
Muttiah Muralitharan 15 16 42.37 4.87
Chanaka Welegedara 8 13 27.92 6.03
Farveez Maharoof 8 11 33.36 5.82

India have an 8-5 advantage in matches in Sri Lanka since 2008, but in terms of batting and bowling numbers there isn't much to choose between the two teams. India are slightly ahead on the number of centuries scored but Sri Lanka have picked up more wickets at a slightly better bowling average.

Batting and bowling performance of India and Sri Lanka (head to head matches in Sri Lanka) since January 1 2008
Team Matches Runs Batting Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s Bowling average Wickets taken Economy rate
India 13 2863 27.52 80.83 4/ 17 32.29 91 4.96
Sri Lanka 13 2843 27.87 79.90 1/ 15 31.69 94 5.06

Most teams have chosen to bat after winning the toss in the day-night games in Dambulla, but in four Sri Lanka-India contests at this ground, three have been won by the team chasing. Moreover, Sri Lanka have won all four of those games.