South Africa in Sri Lanka 2014 July 15, 2014

South Africa look to break 21-year jinx

South Africa have played 12 away series since 2007 and haven't lost a single one. Their last away series defeat, in 2006, was against Sri Lanka

Number of years since South Africa have won a Test series in Sri Lanka. They had achieved it on their first tour there in 1993, when the hosts were beaten 1-0. In their three subsequent tours, they only managed to win one Test, losing two series and drawing one.

Bowling average of South African spinners in Sri Lanka, the only country in which they average over 50. Their economy rate of 3.36 in Sri Lanka is also their worst in any country. In the rest of Asia, South Africa's spinners average 32.83 at an economy rate of 2.96 and a strike rate of 66.4.

Number of Tests South Africa have won in Sri Lanka after the 2000 series. They have lost three and drawn one. Sri Lanka are the only nation in which South Africa have not won a single Test during this period. During the same years, South Africa have an 8-5 win-loss record in the rest of Asia (4-5 excluding Bangladesh).

Number of hundreds scored by Mahela Jayawardene at the SSC - the most by a batsman at a single venue. Don Bradman and Jacques Kallis, with nine hundreds each at the MCG and Newlands, are next on this list. Jayawardene has 2698 runs at the SCC and 2284 runs in Galle (the two Test venues for this series), the top two aggregates in the list of most Test runs scored by a batsman at a venue.

The mean batting average of South Africa's batsmen in Sri Lanka post their readmission. Sri Lanka is the only country where South African batsmen average less than 30. They have only six centuries in 10 matches here.

South Africa's win-loss record in Sri Lanka, the only country apart from Australia and England where South Africa have a negative win-loss record. South have done significantly better in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, where they have win-loss records that read 5-5, 2-1 and 4-0 respectively.

4 Number of home series Sri Lanka have lost since 2000, and only one since 2006. Sri Lanka have played 26 home series since 2000 and only lost to England, Pakistan and Australia (twice). Of the remaining 22 series, Sri Lanka won 17 and drew five. South Africa have lost five of the 25 home series during this period.

Number of teams South Africa have beaten in an away series at least once in the period from 2000 to 2014. Sri Lanka is the only country South Africa have not beaten in an away Test series. South Africa's 2-0 loss to Sri Lanka in July 2006 was their last away defeat.

Number of years since Upul Tharanga's last Test, in December 2007 against England in Galle. Only two Sri Lankans have had longer intervals between Tests - Malinga Bandara and Dulip Liyanage. Liyanage played his penultimate Test in January 1994, but had to wait till August 2001 to play his last game. In Bandara's case, after playing his first Test in May 1998, he had to wait till December 2005 to play his second.

Bishen Jeswant in a stats sub editor with ESPNcricinfo. @bishen_jeswant