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Analysis

Peaks and troughs

Bare statistics don't really do justice to the peaks and troughs of Aravinda de Silva's career

Wisden CricInfo staff
18-Aug-2005
Bare statistics don't really do justice to the peaks and troughs of Aravinda de Silva's career. He made 6361 Test runs at an average of 42.97, but they invariably came in clusters. Two back-to-back periods sum up de Silva's career. From January 1994 to March 1997 - a period that encompasses his starring role in Sri Lanka's World Cup win - de Silva cut a woeful figure in the Test arena. In 19 matches he averaged a miserable 20.29, with two centuries and only one further fifty. But in the 17 Tests that followed that he smashed nine centuries and five fifties, scoring his runs at a mighty average of 78.87. That included a staggering seven centuries in eight Test innings at the various grounds in Colombo. de Silva was always more comfortable on home soil: he averaged 52.22 there as against 36.06 overseas.
It is also notable that, for a man who played Test cricket for 18 years, de Silva had very few nemeses. Only Anil Kumble dismissed him five times or more (seven in all), a surprising statistic for a man who made 93 appearances. It seems spinners were de Silva's bane: of the twelve men to dismiss him three times or more, seven were spinners, including such luminaries as Arshad Khan and Venkatapathy Raju.
Overall, de Silva was out to spinners 42% of the time - a ratio that does not compare favourably with those other Asian middle-order maestros, Sachin Tendulkar (28%) and Javed Miandad (24%).
Click here for a full breakdown of de Silva's career