Marvan Atapattu's career in numbers

A career of highs and lows

A stats analysis of Marvan Atapattu's international career

Cricinfo staff

November 20, 2007

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With a tally of 5502 Test runs and 8529 ODI runs, Marvan Atapattu is among the top run-getters for Sri Lanka in both forms of the game - only four batsmen have scored more in Tests, while he ranks third in the ODI list.

Among the most elegant and technically accomplished Sri Lankan batsmen to play Tests, Atapattu was especially difficult to dislodge when he got his eye in - he is one of only six batsmen to score six or more double-centuries in Tests, and the only opening batsman to do so.

Among those six batsmen, though, Atapattu is the only one to average less than 40; all the others, in fact, average more than 50. The problem for him was getting starts - 63 times he scored ten or less, and a further 43 of his innings were between 11 and 30.

Range of scores for Atapattu in Tests
Score range No. of innings
0-10 63
11-30 43
31-49 17
50-99 17
100-199 10
200+ 6

Atapattu's classical technique and superb temperament meant he was ideally suited to bat at the top of the order - his average of 43.22 as opener is better than his career average of 39.02. He was also at his best when batting in the first innings - 15 of his 16 centuries were scored in the first innings, and his average was nearly 49. In the second innings, though, he was far less successful, scoring just 1458 runs at an average of 25. And when he was handed the Test captaincy, Atapattu managed the difficult task of ensuring it didn't affect his captaincy, averaging more than 41 during his stint as leader.

His style of play was always deemed perfect for Test cricket, but he adapted quite superbly to ODIs as well. In a line-up full of extravagant strokeplayers, Atapattu's solidity was ideal. Not many rated him as Sri Lanka's most potent matchwinner, but when he scored runs, Sri Lanka usually won - eight of his 11 centuries, and 43 of his 59 fifties, resulted in wins for his team. He averaged 51.83 in wins, which is next only to Arjuna Ranatunga among Sri Lankan batsmen who scored more than 2000 ODI runs.

Highest averages in ODI wins for Sri Lanka (at least 2000 runs in wins)
Batsman ODIs Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Arjuna Ranatunga 105 3657 55.40 2/ 29
Marvan Atapattu 143 5598 51.83 8/ 43
Aravinda de Silva 129 4905 50.56 8/ 35
Sanath Jayasuriya 212 8156 42.04 22/ 41
Russel Arnold 99 2000 41.66 1/ 15
Mahela Jayawardene 143 4373 41.64 9/ 21
Roshan Mahanama 87 2523 41.36 3/ 18
Kumar Sangakkara 115 3513 39.92 3/ 26

What Sri Lankan cricket will miss most, though, is the combination he formed with Sanath Jayasuriya in both forms of the game. The two fell just five short of 10,000 partnership runs in international cricket, but in terms of aggregate they fit into the top five in both forms of the game.

Most runs by a pair in Tests
Pair Innings Runs Average 100s/ 50s stands
Greenidge-Haynes 148 6482 47.31 16/ 26
Hayden-Langer 122 6081 51.53 14/ 28
Dravid-Tendulkar 97td> 5017 53.94 15/ 18
Hayden-Ponting 69 4591 71.73 16/ 21
Atapattu-Jayasuriya 122 4533 39.41 9/ 24

Most runs by a pair in ODIs
Pair Innings Runs Average 100s/ 50s stands
Ganguly-Tendulkar 176 8227 47.55 26/ 29
Atapattu-Jayasuriya 144 5462 39.29 14/ 26
Greenidge-Haynes 103 5206 52.58 15/ 25
Gilchrist-Hayden 108 5182 49.35 16/ 27
Dravid-Ganguly 88 4363 50.14 11/ 18

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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