October 28, 2011

Sri Lanka's over-reliance on Sanga and Mahela

As long as Sri Lanka's top two batsmen outperform the rest of the top order by around 70%, the team's fine; when they don't, there's trouble
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For a while now, the batting fortunes of Sri Lanka have been linked inextricably with those of their two best batsmen, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. Not only are they the best among the current lot of batsmen in Sri Lanka - they are way ahead of competition in that regard - but they're also arguably among the best three that the island has ever produced. (Aravinda de Silva is the other name that belongs at the very top, but he didn't do his talent justice with a Test career average of 42.97. Already these two are about 2000 runs clear of their nearest competitors in terms of Test runs scored by Sri Lankan batsmen, and they're far from done yet - in fact, they're both enjoying some of their best years in international cricket.

The last six years have been outstanding ones for both. For Jayawardene, the current year has been a disappointing one despite a superb century in Galle against Australia: in eight Tests he averages 25.92, with only one century. In each of the previous five years, though, he averaged more than 50, almost touching 100 (98.20) in 2007. So far in 2011, though, he has been less than prolific, and his failures in three innings of the current series against Pakistan have been among the main reasons for Sri Lanka's problems so far.

Sangakkara has been in a rich vein of form, too, especially since he gave up wicketkeeping duties. His monumental double-hundred in Abu Dhabi allowed Sri Lanka to escape with a draw against Pakistan, and that form has carried over to the second Test as well. His last few knocks of the year have propped up his 2011 average as well, which is now almost 50 (after the first innings of the Dubai Test). Overall, in the54 Tests in which he hasn't kept wicket, Sangakkara's average is a staggering 71.91.

In fact, since the beginning of 2006, both he and Jayawardene have been among the top three in terms of Test averages (with a 3000-run cut-off). Jacques Kallis is the one batsman who squeezes in between the two, but Sangakkara's average of 67.36 is way ahead of anyone else's during this period.

Best Test averages since Jan 2006 (Qual: 3000 runs)
Batsman Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Kumar Sangakkara 49 5120 67.36 18/ 19
Jacques Kallis 50 4495 59.14 18/ 17
Mahela Jayawardene 50 4584 57.30 16/ 13
Shivnarine Chanderpaul 43 3260 56.20 9/ 20
Sachin Tendulkar 55 4642 55.26 16/ 20
Virender Sehwag 50 4415 51.33 12/ 17
Kevin Pietersen 70 5687 51.23 17/ 22
Michael Hussey 57 4518 50.76 12/ 25

Sangakkara and Jayawardene have held Sri Lanka's batting together for the last few years, and there's plenty to like about their stats. The table below, though, also shows one aspect that isn't so flattering. Both have outstanding averages at home - more than 70 since 2006 - and Sangakkara's numbers overseas have picked up as well, but the one aspect of Jayawardene's stats that has always confounded experts has been his performances outside the subcontinent. Though he possesses an excellent defensive technique and strokes all around the wicket, his average outside the subcontinent is a modest 35.98; over the last six years it has come down further, to 31.08.

Admittedly, part of the problem is also that Sri Lankan don't play that much outside the subcontinent. While India, and even Pakistan, tend to tour Australia, South Africa, England, New Zealand and West Indies reasonably regularly, Sri Lanka do so far more infrequently, and even when they do, it's often for only a two-Test series. Since January 2006, for example, India have played 27 Tests outside the subcontinent, Pakistan 24, and Sri Lanka a mere 12. The vagaries of the FTP can explain some of the discrepancy but not such a huge difference.

Even so, Jayawardene has struggled in these conditions more than a player of his class should. On the tour to England earlier in 2011, he scored 103 in six innings; he did reasonably well in Australia in 2007-08, scoring 167 in four innings, but managed only 39 in four innings on the tour to New Zealand before that. When opportunities are so scarce, these failures get magnified even more.

Sangakkara, on the other hand, had very good Tests in Australia and New Zealand, though his 2011 series in England was only salvaged somewhat by a century in his last innings. (Click here for his series-wise stats.)

Sangakkara and Jayawardene in Tests since Jan 2006
  Sangakkara - Tests Average 100s/ 50s Jayawardene - Tests Average 100s/ 50s
Home 27 79.94 11/ 9 27 72.58 10/ 12
Away (incl neutral) 22 54.78 7/ 10 23 42.75 6/ 1
In subcontinent 38 73.08 14/ 15 38 68.53 13/ 12
Outside subcontinent 11 51.35 4/ 4 12 31.08 3/ 1

Even with slightly dodgy numbers outside the subcontinent, though, Jayawardene remains way ahead of other Sri Lankan batsmen, excluding Sangakkara. In the 49 Tests in which both these batsmen have played for Sri Lanka, they've scored almost 42% of the team's top-order runs, and more than 50% of the hundreds. Together they've averaged 62.60, while the rest of the top-order has averaged less than 38.

Tests that Sangakkara and Jayawardene have played together since Jan 2006
  Innings Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Kumar Sangakkara 83 5120 67.36 18/ 19
Mahela Jayawardene 82 4521 57.96 16/ 13
Together 165 9641 62.60 34/ 32
Rest of SL top order (Nos 1-7) 398 13,423 37.60 29/ 69

And here are more comparisons between the Sangakkara-Jayawardene combination and the rest of the top order. Overall in these last six years, these two have outperformed the rest of the Sri Lankan top order by around 66%. In wins that figure increases to 73%, but in defeats it drops to around 34%, and outside the subcontinent to around 38%. The message is clear: Sri Lanka bank on Sangakkara and Jayawardene to massively outperform the rest of the top order. When they do by about 70%, the team does well; when the percentage of outperformance is only about 30-40%, the team continues to struggle.

More drilldowns - Sangakkara+Jayawardene v Rest of SL's top order (since Jan 2006)
  S+J - ave 100s/ 50s Others - average 100s/ 50s
Outside subcontinent 40.71 7/ 5 29.54 6/ 17
In wins 73.03 16/ 12 42.15 14/ 26
In defeats 35.07 5/ 6 26.06 5/ 16

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • pinhead9810 on October 31, 2011, 21:02 GMT

    To be fair, every player from the sub-continent averages below 50, away from the sub-continent (Australia, England, New Zealand & South Africa), except two players, Sachin Tendulkar (52.57) and Rahul Dravid (52.32). If I was to include playing in West Indies to that list, Sunil Gavaskar (51.57) is the only other man to average over 50, including Tendulkar and Dravid.

  • KingOwl on October 30, 2011, 17:51 GMT

    I think comparing these two against the rest of the top 7 is not totally accurate. SL often plays only 6 batsmen, including the wicket keeper (Prasanna is a great w/keeper, but is not really a batsman, although he has made some good runs recently). But, these findings are not too surprising - unlike India, SL does not have a billion plus people. Imagine if they did! SL for its size (and with no natural build/physique for fast bowling) has been exceptional in its achievements. Near the top in both T20 and One Day cricket. Not bad in test rankings (but a lot more to do on that front).

  • priceless1 on October 30, 2011, 17:38 GMT

    Sanga is not a flat track batsmen he has done better in AZ,NZ and SA wickets compare to the other batsmen in the subcontinent , he has always bring his best whenever the team is most needed him ... if you wanna see the real flat track bullies in action then just go and watch the current series between Ind and Eng

  • NALINWIJ on October 30, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    My maths teacher told me that mathematics was the study of the obvious and these statistics tells the tale of Sri Lanka's over reliance on Sanga and Mahela but it also tells that Sanga has performed well outside the country but Mahela has been disappointing outside the subcontinent and the rest of the side lot worse. The last 5 test matches have seen woeful Sri lankan batting except for the odd cameo. There is noticeable lack of confidence and technique in their batting. Sri lanka had 2 unorthodox batsmen in Jayasuriya and kaluwitharana but the other 5 were orthodox batsmen with good technique that were well coached from colombo schools who were solid. Why did they load this squad with an abundence of reserve wicketkeepers.What about Samaraweera and Tharanga. The quality of their bowling is even a bigger concern that makes their batting limitations more of a problem.

  • khiladisher on October 30, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    @umar-amir-fawad-Well said ,bottom is where they belong without the great Murali-not a single technically correct lankan player in sight.Sanga and Mahela are the last of the good flat track batsman and now they are batting very badly even in those pitches.Looks like even Bangladesh and Zimbabwe will also beat them.Not to forget they were not able to beat West indies in the test series last year.

  • nipo10847 on October 30, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    SL didn't develop any young talents to replace any of them. No way they drop Mahela regardless of his recent poor showings. In fact, they don't have any test batsmen on that team besides these two. Dilshan is a sheer joke.First thing SLC should do now is relieve Dilshan from captaincy.He was a much better batsman before captaincy. He's not a born leader and how on earth can you make a 34 year old inconsistent batsman captain when you have good 4 years to develop a new captain before the next WC? Then bring in Dinesh Chandimal into the side. He's the one that has true potential as far as I have seen. My fear about SLC is they won't win any test match in near future. I actually think Bangladesh has a better bowling attack than SL right now. Lastly. only one person can set SLC into bright future, it's Arguna Ranatunga.He needs to lead the board.Only he can voice anything against ICC aka BCCI. Pak and SL cricket started going down ever since cricket became "ICC=BCCI."

  • chilled_avenger on October 30, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs Where did you find these stats,mate! According to Statsguru,Mahela averages 31.08 in 12 tests outside the subcontinent since 2006! In case of Sangakkara its true though.

  • hypocrite on October 30, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    Sanga is ok but Jayawardane is a burden now.But I wonder if there is any young Sri lankan batsman to replace them now?!All I see is good sloggers but not good technical players...lol,,honeymoon for sri lanka seems to be over,,now go back to your place guys,,bottom!!!

  • johnathonjosephs on October 30, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    An average of 51 for the 2 batsman outside the subcontinent since 2006 should be more than enough to silence the critics saying they are flat track bullies

  • Aravind_always on October 29, 2011, 18:21 GMT

    Sangakkara is a terrific player.He has the ability to play in any type of pitches.He belongs to the class of Dravid,Ponting & Kallis..But Jayawardene is a flat track bully.He can score only in Srilanka..

  • pinhead9810 on October 31, 2011, 21:02 GMT

    To be fair, every player from the sub-continent averages below 50, away from the sub-continent (Australia, England, New Zealand & South Africa), except two players, Sachin Tendulkar (52.57) and Rahul Dravid (52.32). If I was to include playing in West Indies to that list, Sunil Gavaskar (51.57) is the only other man to average over 50, including Tendulkar and Dravid.

  • KingOwl on October 30, 2011, 17:51 GMT

    I think comparing these two against the rest of the top 7 is not totally accurate. SL often plays only 6 batsmen, including the wicket keeper (Prasanna is a great w/keeper, but is not really a batsman, although he has made some good runs recently). But, these findings are not too surprising - unlike India, SL does not have a billion plus people. Imagine if they did! SL for its size (and with no natural build/physique for fast bowling) has been exceptional in its achievements. Near the top in both T20 and One Day cricket. Not bad in test rankings (but a lot more to do on that front).

  • priceless1 on October 30, 2011, 17:38 GMT

    Sanga is not a flat track batsmen he has done better in AZ,NZ and SA wickets compare to the other batsmen in the subcontinent , he has always bring his best whenever the team is most needed him ... if you wanna see the real flat track bullies in action then just go and watch the current series between Ind and Eng

  • NALINWIJ on October 30, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    My maths teacher told me that mathematics was the study of the obvious and these statistics tells the tale of Sri Lanka's over reliance on Sanga and Mahela but it also tells that Sanga has performed well outside the country but Mahela has been disappointing outside the subcontinent and the rest of the side lot worse. The last 5 test matches have seen woeful Sri lankan batting except for the odd cameo. There is noticeable lack of confidence and technique in their batting. Sri lanka had 2 unorthodox batsmen in Jayasuriya and kaluwitharana but the other 5 were orthodox batsmen with good technique that were well coached from colombo schools who were solid. Why did they load this squad with an abundence of reserve wicketkeepers.What about Samaraweera and Tharanga. The quality of their bowling is even a bigger concern that makes their batting limitations more of a problem.

  • khiladisher on October 30, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    @umar-amir-fawad-Well said ,bottom is where they belong without the great Murali-not a single technically correct lankan player in sight.Sanga and Mahela are the last of the good flat track batsman and now they are batting very badly even in those pitches.Looks like even Bangladesh and Zimbabwe will also beat them.Not to forget they were not able to beat West indies in the test series last year.

  • nipo10847 on October 30, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    SL didn't develop any young talents to replace any of them. No way they drop Mahela regardless of his recent poor showings. In fact, they don't have any test batsmen on that team besides these two. Dilshan is a sheer joke.First thing SLC should do now is relieve Dilshan from captaincy.He was a much better batsman before captaincy. He's not a born leader and how on earth can you make a 34 year old inconsistent batsman captain when you have good 4 years to develop a new captain before the next WC? Then bring in Dinesh Chandimal into the side. He's the one that has true potential as far as I have seen. My fear about SLC is they won't win any test match in near future. I actually think Bangladesh has a better bowling attack than SL right now. Lastly. only one person can set SLC into bright future, it's Arguna Ranatunga.He needs to lead the board.Only he can voice anything against ICC aka BCCI. Pak and SL cricket started going down ever since cricket became "ICC=BCCI."

  • chilled_avenger on October 30, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs Where did you find these stats,mate! According to Statsguru,Mahela averages 31.08 in 12 tests outside the subcontinent since 2006! In case of Sangakkara its true though.

  • hypocrite on October 30, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    Sanga is ok but Jayawardane is a burden now.But I wonder if there is any young Sri lankan batsman to replace them now?!All I see is good sloggers but not good technical players...lol,,honeymoon for sri lanka seems to be over,,now go back to your place guys,,bottom!!!

  • johnathonjosephs on October 30, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    An average of 51 for the 2 batsman outside the subcontinent since 2006 should be more than enough to silence the critics saying they are flat track bullies

  • Aravind_always on October 29, 2011, 18:21 GMT

    Sangakkara is a terrific player.He has the ability to play in any type of pitches.He belongs to the class of Dravid,Ponting & Kallis..But Jayawardene is a flat track bully.He can score only in Srilanka..

  • S.Girish on October 29, 2011, 17:21 GMT

    Mahela Jayawardane is the most over rated batsmen cricket world has ever seen ... He is just pathetic outside the subcontinent and has made up for it by thrashing average sides at home .. Mahela has to be shown the door sooner than later and bat some one like Angelo mathews up the order and probably bring in Chandimal

    SL bowling has become weaker with Murali and Malinga hanging their boots .. I don't see any bowler in their side capable of running through a side .. SL test team needs lot of improvement in all departments of the game

  • Sakthiivel on October 29, 2011, 16:43 GMT

    Its really bad that SL not given enough chances as mentioned that SL play less matches outside sub continent.. Even Pak India player more outside Subcontinent. FTP was very clear that SL were not given many matches with Big teams in coming years, but SL going to play minnows. That means SL young players will not get many exposes...

  • Jerseyite on October 29, 2011, 16:35 GMT

    Let us compare Sangakkara to Tendulkar after Sangakkara crosses 34/35. A batsman when he crosses 34, his already depleted reflexes when he crossed 30, reduces by another 40%. That is beginning to show in Mahela's case. Tendulkar learnt to adjust to that fact soon, after 2007, when he realized that when he was ay his pomp (Both Kumar and Mahela at their absolute pomp, were way below Tendulkar at his pomp - I am talking about the early to mid-90's when Tendulkar used to pull good length deliveries to mid-wicket fence, and these weren'r cross batted hoicks, but class shots and some mind-numbing hook shots). Tendulkar has shelved the pull and hook shots for almost a decade now, and it has only resurfaced recently, not with any regularity though. Sangakkara is a phenomenal talent, and someone has to be stupid not to know that. But two years from now could be a different story, and he will also be learning to ajust that Mahela recently found, and is yet to adjust, but Sachin found years bac

  • timtom on October 29, 2011, 15:12 GMT

    Sanga is a class act..Currently the best in both forms... Except for this series (and a couple of others) where he scored a match saving double in first test, the general pattern of his career has been scoring big centuries after the series has been lost or tied.. Mahela exactly the opposite..Scores a big hundred in the first test of the series and remains silent thru out the rest.. He should have been out of ODI atleast 3 yrs back..how else can u explain ave of 33.5 in 350 matches coming at 3-4 th position.... Check the average of other greats at the same position for the same tenure and same number of matches (dravid, kallis, Ponting)... Not to blame where are the replacements.. Except Angelo cannot remember the name of a single younster who has been impressive... If Srilankan board does`nt act soon , srilanka will be back to original glory of 80`s and early 90`s..

    All the best...

  • lankavigi on October 29, 2011, 13:38 GMT

    Absolutely correct. SL are just pathetic. Even the Pakistan A side can beat them. I am really disgusted with this side. I've absolutely wasted my time following these bunch of losers.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 3rd_man on October 29, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    Mahela should be dropped from the side. he becoming waste of space. people rank Mahela so high, may be because of his stance or elegance shots. but he don't have much ball striking ability. on other hand sangakkara is a class act. problem SL face is that they don't have talented batsman who can take bowling lines apart. Dilshan did well , but he is wasting time there in the middle order. you cant allow bowlers to ball to you, cos they will come on top. Mahela even Dilshan at middle order cannot do that. MJ never a batsman take spinners apart. In short , for srilanka to succesful they badly need Chandimal. then Mathews should bat up the order. may be bring young Bhanuka in. these guys naturally attacking, and they have that skills to bowling attacks. let them get exposure. I am sure they cannot perform less than mahela or dilshan. these guys lost in the fame of T20. they cannot play longer version any more.

  • hypocrite on October 29, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    I think Sri Lanka is a good for nothing team after the recent performances against us, Pakistan in the desert!They are equivalent to Bangladesh now...lol,they need to be thrown away and must play against Zim,Bangla and Ireland! Pakistan has produced great batsmen all the way through in cricketing history! Our young Umar Akmal, Younis , Misbah,Taufeeq,Afridi all are way above these sub continental bullies Sanga and Mahela!!

  • johnathonjosephs on October 29, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    Lot of people here who have no cricketing intelligence. Mahela has a poor outside subcontinent record, yes. Sangakkara on the other hand has an overall average of 51 outside the subcontinent and that is including the times when he was a wicketkeeper. Since he gave up the reins, he has averaged 71 and if I'm not correct, his away average jumps to 57 if you exclude the games he played as wicketkeeper. Tell me another player who has played on as many grounds as Sanga has that has an away average of 57?

  • chandau on October 29, 2011, 4:48 GMT

    @ khiladisher : LOL after getting hammered in England with ur so called great batting lineup U have the guts to comment on Sri Lankans! India lost allmost all matches in England ; only Dravid showed some ability. There was not an Indian in sight when getting thrashed in ODI series 4 zip. Now u win the ODIs in India and suddenly INDIA is the best in the world HOME & AWAY !!! get a life mate the problem with SL batters is that they play less matches whether home/away per annum compared to most teams. Compare someone like Ponting who plays in England South Africa India on a regular basis. Sanga has played only a handful of tests in OZ in a decade. Like someone pointed out Sanga played 23 tests in Eng, Oz, SA, INd (12 years) compared to Sachin 33 tests in Eng, Oz, SA, SL (11 years). Obviously Sachin will have better stats than Sanga simply by playing on average one more patch per year. If Sri Lankans played as much as OZ , some of these guys would have great records to last aeons. :)

  • chilled_avenger on October 29, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    @khiladisher Although I agree with you on SL Batsmen's case,your list of Batting greats is seriously flawed!If performing overseas is a test for greatness,then what is Sehwag doing there since he averages 27.80 in Eng,20 in NZ & 25.46 in SA! Plus,your list is filled with Modern players with no mention whatsoever of players like Wally Hammond,Len Hutton,Garry Sobers,Jack Hobbs,Greame Pollock,George Hadley,Herbert Sutcliff etc. !

  • Balumekka on October 29, 2011, 2:50 GMT

    @khiladisher: Sanga has best (in the world) overall test batting average since 2006, an average of 54 away and an average of 51 outside subcontinent. So you still claim that Sanga has a poor away average? This reflects your knowledge on cricket mate. However, I accept your comments on Mahela.

  • khiladisher on October 29, 2011, 0:02 GMT

    THE LANKAN TRADITION OF GOOD BATSMAN ONLY IN LANKA WILL FINISH WITH THE RETIREMENT OF SANGA AND MAHELA BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO YOUNG TALENT CAPABLE OF DISPLAYING GOOD BATSMAN SHIP-THIS HAS BEEN PROVEN OVER THE LAST 12 TEST MATCHES WHERE THE YOUNGSTERS HAVE FAILED MISERABLY. IT IS A KNOWN FACT THAT BOTH SANGA AND MAHELA HAVE POOR AWAY RECORDS HOWEVER THEY ARE GREAT WHEN BATTING IN LANKAN WICKETS AS THEIR RECORDS SHOW. IT REMAINS TO SEE WHETHER CHANDIMAL,THIRIMANE,OR KARUNARATNE WILL FOLLOW IN THE STEPS OF ARAVINDA{THE GREATEST LANKAN BATSMAN EVER},SANGAKARA AND MAHELA.

  • playitstraight on October 28, 2011, 22:15 GMT

    SL are actually too dependent on Sanga and Mahela, it would help if Dilshan could get into form and score a century.... But now, Prasanna and Matthews and Thrimanne are looking promising for batting. Once Sanga and Mahela retire, then there will not only be a bowling crisis, but also a batting crisis. They have to unearth some young talents so when these two retire, it will be an easy transition period instead of the period that SL is going through right now after Murali retired.

  • khiladisher on October 28, 2011, 19:52 GMT

    SANGA AND MAHELA HAVE BEEN GOOD AT THEIR HOME CONDITIONS AND THEIR RECORDS ARE PRETTY AVERAGE OUTSIDE LANKA-THATS THE REASON THEY ARE YET TO WIN TEST MATCH EITHER IN INDIA-AUSTRALIA AND SOUTH AFRICA.WITH THE RETIREMENT OF MURALI THEY ARE YET TO WIN EVEN 1 TEST MATCH SINCE THE LAST 12 TESTS.

  • khiladisher on October 28, 2011, 19:46 GMT

    @dilanz51-YOUR STATEMENT THAT SANGAKKARA IS THE BEST BATSMAN AFTER BRADMAN IS JUST A BIG JOKE.THE FOLLOWING REASONS JUST SAY THAT HE IS A GREAT BATSMAN ONLY IN SRI LANKAN CONDITIONS-1-HIS AWAY RECORD IN ENGLAND-AVG-30,IN INDIA-36-SOUTH AFRICA -39 AND WEST INDIES-34,SUGGEST THAT HIS RECORD OUTSIDE SRILANKA IS NOT WHAT A GOOD BATSMAN SHOULD HAVE.SANGA HAS ONLY PLAYED 3 TESTS IN AUSTRALIA AND HE IS YET TO PROVE HIMSELF THERE EXCEPT FOR THE 192 SCORED IN LOW AND SLOW HOBART PITCH. OUT OF THE 8 DOUBLE HUNDREDS SANGA HAS SCORED-3 HAVE BEEN AGAINST ZIM AND BANGLADESH-AND HE IS YET TO SCORE A DOUBLE OUTSIDE THE SUB -CONTINENT.ARAVINDA HAS BEEN AND WILL THE #1 BATSMAN FROM SRI LANKA -MY ORDER FOR BATTING GREATS-BRADMAN-SACHIN-LARA-GAVASKAR-RICHARDS-PONTING-SEHWAG-KALLIS-DRAVID.ALL THESE PLAYERS HAVE PERFORMED BOTH HOME AND AWAY.

  • 30-30-150 on October 28, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    @dilanz51 - Mate, if your statement goes by the above list of averages then it doesn't make much sense. Sanga plays in all Test matches that SL plays, even those against teams like Bangla, Zim, WI and NZ. Whereas Sachin opts out of Test series against weaker sides most of the times. So its unfair to say Sanga is the best batsman in Tests by just looking at his average

  • brittop on October 28, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    Quite surprising. Always thought SL had a pretty decent batting line up. When you add Dilshan & Samaweera to these two, it would seem to take care of itself.

  • Mike.Smith on October 28, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    Sangakara: Sangakara's 211 score was not the highest 3rd innings score for a SriLankan overseas, but given the circumstances of lead in 1st inns (200+ runs), and playing outside their home country, here is the list of top scores; 337*: Hanif Mohammad (Pak) (lead was 473), 262* : DL Amiss (Eng), 235*: AN Cook (Eng), 232*: A Flower (Zim). Nevertheless, it was probably one of the best innings in his career, and is worth to be listed in some top 50 innings of all time in the history of Test cricket.

    (5 of the 8) 200+ scores were scored in SL (2 of them against Bangladesh). Out of the remaining 3, only 1 was scored outside the subcontinent, and that was against Zim. Again, Sangakara is one of the best (ethically as well) batsmen in our era, but certainly not the best. He also admits that, he had been much below par outside the subcontinent.

  • chapathishot on October 28, 2011, 15:09 GMT

    Charith99 : Yes, you are absolutely correct when only one innings is possible in test matches in SSC,It is very difficult to bat for lower order players as teams declare for score in the range 600 -1000

  • chapathishot on October 28, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    Sangas figures in South Africa,England ,Austrailia and India are as follows 2000-2011 M 23 In 44 Not 1 Runs 1668 highest192 Average 38.79 Cent 3 Fifty 8 Zero1 .Sachins from 2001 in South Africa,England ,Austrailia and Srilanka are as follows 2001-2011 33 62 6 2981 241* 53.23 5432 54.87 8 13 3 . You can check the staistics.Getting lots of runs in SSC dont make any one great let alone worlds greatest after Bradman he is not even the greatest Srilankan Batsmen ever äs I mentioned in a post two or three years back.Mad max rules .

  • Sageleaf on October 28, 2011, 14:52 GMT

    Sanga is a great batsman. He is one of the top 3 in the world. It's unfortunate Sri Lanka does not play often with top nations. But Sanga is not only a player, he is a great Ambassador excellent orator and right now I feel the best to captain if there was a rest of the world team. I think he should be re-appointed as Sri Lanka's captain.

  • pitch_curator on October 28, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    @dilanz51 -- Why leave bradman aside. Lets say Sangakarra is lightyears ahead of him as well...

  • VENKATASAIPRAVEEN on October 28, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    Yeah ! SriLanka depends too heavily on Sanga and Mahela...No other team depends upon a couple of batsmen as much as SriLanka does..Once these two stars retire, the Srilankan batting will face a crisis because there are no effective replacements in sight..Of course, there are youngsters like Chandimal. Kandamby, kapugedera, Paranawithana but none of them looks promising ...

  • hassan13 on October 28, 2011, 8:13 GMT

    Pretty much proves Sanga is the best batsmen for the last half decade. Pak double century proved his class.

  • Charith99 on October 28, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    @ chilled_avenger sri lankan wickets are not flat tracks like in india & pakistan , Batting averages in sri lanka are very low compared with india & pakistan.you can only make runs in SL if you can play spin well.Unless rain happens SL wickets always produce results.

  • Piyush_Advani on October 28, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    @dialnz51 you have put forward a strong argument.Sanga's record at home and away is superb,he also has 8 double centuries to his name(the most among the current players).But I certainly won't call him as the best after Bradman,he may fit in my top 10 after Bradman,but calling him the best after Bradman is bias.

  • spas on October 28, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    Rajesh, i guess we miss one comparison here. Can we compare Mahels/Sangas averages against rest of the top order with that of other test countries' top two & the rest? It will make sense.

  • its.rachit on October 28, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    i think the correlation between the difference in performance and results is wrongl ... the correct inference is .. Sri lanka does well when sanga and mahela do well ... what you are saying means that if they make 100s and the rest make 70s .. sri lanka would not do well ... thats a bit inaccurate i would say ... sri lanka loses when the 2 average around 35 ... which is obvious ... india would lose 80% of the time when sachin+dravid both do not make a 50 .. of atleast india wont win much in the scenario ...

  • Romanticstud on October 28, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    The list of batsman is interesting Kumar Sangakkara Jacques Kallis Mahela Jayawardene Shivnarine Chanderpaul Sachin Tendulkar Virender Sehwag Kevin Pietersen Michael Hussey

    At one stage or another the above batsmen have grinded their respective teams out of deep trouble. Chanderpaul is like a lone star ranger in the West Indies. Kallis has time and again saved South Africa, Tendulkar often saved India, Peterson, although recently has had a more solid base has saved England, and with Ponting not contributing as frequently Hussey has been their kingpin. notoce too that Sanga has got 50+ averages outside of SL which has helped with Sri-Lankas record away from home. The other thing about the top end of the list is that they have been consistent performers for their respective countries. Notable absentees from this list are Dravid, De Villiers, Amla, Laxman, Cook, Bell, Trott who have recently performed roles for their countries.

  • Black_Rider on October 28, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    Actually this is what SL cricket is about.There was Aravinda and Sanath era.Now there is Sanga and Mahela era.When they go another era will come.It May be the era of Angelo, Chandimal and Banuka.

  • dilanz51 on October 28, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    sanga is the bes basman afer bradman. he is miles ahead of sachin and ponting.

  • chilled_avenger on October 28, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    While I'm not belittling their talents and I appreciate their batting efforts,but the flat & batting-friendly pitches of the Subcontinent,especially Sri Lanka have some hand in their excellent batting stats,which is even more evident in Mahela's case! Why else would a Batsman of Mahela's stats struggle continuously outside the Subcontinent,except for a once in blue moon Overseas innings! Though I myself am a Cricket Stats aficionado,in this case I must say that Cricket Stats are sometimes unfortunately overrated!

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  • chilled_avenger on October 28, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    While I'm not belittling their talents and I appreciate their batting efforts,but the flat & batting-friendly pitches of the Subcontinent,especially Sri Lanka have some hand in their excellent batting stats,which is even more evident in Mahela's case! Why else would a Batsman of Mahela's stats struggle continuously outside the Subcontinent,except for a once in blue moon Overseas innings! Though I myself am a Cricket Stats aficionado,in this case I must say that Cricket Stats are sometimes unfortunately overrated!

  • dilanz51 on October 28, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    sanga is the bes basman afer bradman. he is miles ahead of sachin and ponting.

  • Black_Rider on October 28, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    Actually this is what SL cricket is about.There was Aravinda and Sanath era.Now there is Sanga and Mahela era.When they go another era will come.It May be the era of Angelo, Chandimal and Banuka.

  • Romanticstud on October 28, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    The list of batsman is interesting Kumar Sangakkara Jacques Kallis Mahela Jayawardene Shivnarine Chanderpaul Sachin Tendulkar Virender Sehwag Kevin Pietersen Michael Hussey

    At one stage or another the above batsmen have grinded their respective teams out of deep trouble. Chanderpaul is like a lone star ranger in the West Indies. Kallis has time and again saved South Africa, Tendulkar often saved India, Peterson, although recently has had a more solid base has saved England, and with Ponting not contributing as frequently Hussey has been their kingpin. notoce too that Sanga has got 50+ averages outside of SL which has helped with Sri-Lankas record away from home. The other thing about the top end of the list is that they have been consistent performers for their respective countries. Notable absentees from this list are Dravid, De Villiers, Amla, Laxman, Cook, Bell, Trott who have recently performed roles for their countries.

  • its.rachit on October 28, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    i think the correlation between the difference in performance and results is wrongl ... the correct inference is .. Sri lanka does well when sanga and mahela do well ... what you are saying means that if they make 100s and the rest make 70s .. sri lanka would not do well ... thats a bit inaccurate i would say ... sri lanka loses when the 2 average around 35 ... which is obvious ... india would lose 80% of the time when sachin+dravid both do not make a 50 .. of atleast india wont win much in the scenario ...

  • spas on October 28, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    Rajesh, i guess we miss one comparison here. Can we compare Mahels/Sangas averages against rest of the top order with that of other test countries' top two & the rest? It will make sense.

  • Piyush_Advani on October 28, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    @dialnz51 you have put forward a strong argument.Sanga's record at home and away is superb,he also has 8 double centuries to his name(the most among the current players).But I certainly won't call him as the best after Bradman,he may fit in my top 10 after Bradman,but calling him the best after Bradman is bias.

  • Charith99 on October 28, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    @ chilled_avenger sri lankan wickets are not flat tracks like in india & pakistan , Batting averages in sri lanka are very low compared with india & pakistan.you can only make runs in SL if you can play spin well.Unless rain happens SL wickets always produce results.

  • hassan13 on October 28, 2011, 8:13 GMT

    Pretty much proves Sanga is the best batsmen for the last half decade. Pak double century proved his class.

  • VENKATASAIPRAVEEN on October 28, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    Yeah ! SriLanka depends too heavily on Sanga and Mahela...No other team depends upon a couple of batsmen as much as SriLanka does..Once these two stars retire, the Srilankan batting will face a crisis because there are no effective replacements in sight..Of course, there are youngsters like Chandimal. Kandamby, kapugedera, Paranawithana but none of them looks promising ...