India in Sri Lanka / Stats Analysis

India in Sri Lanka 2008

Stats glory to Sri Lanka, series to India

Stats review of the five-match ODI series between Sri Lanka and India

S Rajesh

August 30, 2008

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India ended up with a fairly convincing 3-2 win in the ODI series, but you wouldn't figure that out by looking at the overall stats. Sri Lanka scored 45 more runs and lost eight fewer wickets in the five games, and averaged five runs more per wicket than India, whose average run-rate was a tad lesser than the home team as well.

The key factor was the margin of victories: Sri Lanka's two wins were both by huge margins - they won the first match by eight wickets with more than 15 overs spare, while their consolation win in the last game was by 112 runs. India, on the other hand, won the rest but by relatively modest margins - three wickets, 33 runs and 46 runs. Not surprisingly, the overall numbers look much better for Sri Lanka.

The one factor that stood out through the series was the extent to which bowlers from both teams dominated: India's 258 in the fourth ODI was the only instance of a team topping 250, while both teams nearly had a 65% dot-ball percentage; in five games, only 13 sixes were struck, an average of less than three per game.

Series stats for India and Sri Lanka
Team Runs per wkt Runs per over Dot balls played 1s, 2s, 3s 4s/ 6s
India 19.28 4.18 823 (64.75%) 396 (31.16%) 72/ 7
Sri Lanka 24.52 4.25 838 (63.82%) 419 (31.91%) 81/ 6

The new ball was the key in most games, and the Indians handled the Powerplay overs better than their Sri Lankan counterparts. Both teams lost 21 wickets during the Powerplays, but India scored 404 runs to Sri Lanka's 362.

Through the other phases of the innings, though, the Sri Lankans were better: during the middle overs they averaged eight more runs per wicket than India, and struck seven more fours. The difference is even more in the last ten overs, but most of the games were decided before that stage.

How the teams fared in the Powerplays, middle overs and final overs
Team Runs per wkt Runs per over Dot balls played 1s, 2s, 3s 4s/ 6s
India - Powerplay overs 19.23 4.04 435 132 44/ 4
Sri Lanka - Powerplay overs 17.23 3.62 455 113 44/ 3

India - Overs 21 to 40

28.25

3.93

306

199

17/ 2
Sri Lanka - Overs 21 to 40 36.45 4.29 316 229 24/ 2

India - Overs 41 to 50

11.07

5.61

82

65

11/ 1
Sri Lanka - Overs 41 to 50 28.16 6.62 67 77 13/ 1

The partnership stats reveal just how much of a struggle it was for the top-order batsmen. The opening stand was a non-starter for Sri Lanka, who averaged just 13.80 for the first wicket. India's one-down pair was worse, while Sri Lanka's fourth-wicket partnership was equally dismal.

There were only two century partnerships in the entire series: India's only one was for the fourth wicket, when Suresh Raina and Mahendra Singh Dhoni added 143 in the fourth match, while Jayawardene and Chamara Kapugedera added 102 for the third wicket in the first game in Dambulla. India's reliance on Dhoni is obvious from the fact that he was involved in each of the four 50-plus partnerships that India managed in the series; for Sri Lanka, Thilan Thushara was the unlikely batting hero, figuring in three of the five 50-plus stands. Thanks to Thushara, Sri Lanka's average stand for the seventh wicket was 73.33 (obviously helped by the undefeated 94-run stand in the final ODI).

Jayawardene made useful contributions, but the rest of the line-up was a huge disappointment: Kumar Sangakkara scored just 37 runs in five games, his lowest aggregate in a series in which he played more than three games.

Partnerships for each wicket
Wicket Ind - ave stand Run rate 100/ 50 stands SL - ave stand Run rate 100/ 50 stands
1st 25.80 4.22 0/ 0 13.80 3.33 0/ 0
2nd 9.20 3.28 0/ 0 25.60 4.06 0/ 1
3rd 25.20 4.50 0/ 0 37.75 4.62 1/ 0
4th 47.60 5.04 1/ 0 9.50 4.07 0/ 0
5th 13.40 4.06 0/ 1 21.75 3.01 0/ 0
6th 31.20 4.12 0/ 2 12.50 3.15 0/ 0
7th 7.20 3.54 0/ 0 73.33 5.17 0/ 2
8th 7.00 1.97 0/ 0 38.00 5.14 0/ 1
9th 5.75 2.76 0/ 0 12.33 6.52 0/ 0
10th 12.67 7.35 0/ 0 12.67 3.93 0/ 0

Ajantha Mendis finished with 13 wickets in the series, the highest for either team. Some of the Indian batsmen played him reasonably well in the last few games, but Yuvraj Singh certainly wasn't one of them: in just 14 deliveries, Mendis dismissed him thrice, conceding just seven runs. The one batsman who played both Mendis and Muttiah Muralitharan well was Raina, scoring 31 from 33 balls off Mendis and 35 from 34 off Murali. Dhoni handled Murali well too.

Nuwan Kulasekara finished with 11 wickets, and he was particularly successful against the left-handers, dismissing Gautam Gambhir and Suresh Raina three times each. Eight of his 11 victims were left-handers, against whom he conceded less than ten runs per wicket. Rohit Sharma was Thushara's bunny, while Sangakkara was so effectively shackled by Zaheer Khan that he only scored 16 from 44 deliveries, and was dismissed twice in the process.

Head-to-head battles during the series
Batsman Bowler Runs/ balls Dismissals Average Runs per over
MS Dhoni Ajantha Mendis 51/ 81 2 25.50 3.77
Yuvraj Singh Ajantha Mendis 7/ 14 3 2.33 3.00
MS Dhoni Muralitharan 55/ 63 0 - 5.23
Suresh Raina Mendis & Murali 66/ 67 0 - 5.91
Right-handers Kulasekara 79/ 131 3 26.33 3.61
Left-handers Kulasekara 76/ 109 8 9.50 4.18
Rohit Sharma Thilan Thushara 13/ 24 3 4.33 3.25
Kumar Sangakkara Zaheer Khan 16/ 44 2 8.00 2.18
Sanath Jayasuriya Zaheer Khan 20/ 35 2 10.00 3.42
Thilan Thushara Munaf Patel 30/ 26 0 - 6.92

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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