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India vs Sri Lanka: 10 Reasons to Watch the First Test at Kolkata

Cricketnext | Updated: November 15, 2017, 2:29 PM IST
India vs Sri Lanka: 10 Reasons to Watch the First Test at Kolkata

A file photo of Virat Kohli and Dinesh Chandimal. (AFP)

New Delhi: India would look to emulate their recent success against Sri Lanka and go into the forthcoming South Africa tour brimming with confidence when the Asian rivals meet in the first of the three-Test here at the Eden Gardens on Thursday. Not long ago in August, Sri Lanka were annihilated 9-0 across all formats in their own den by a ruthless India led by their aggressive captain Virat Kohli.

Since then, the men in blue have won limited overs series against Australia and New Zealand at home, while Sri Lanka -- still in transition after the retirements of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara -- triumphed 2-0 over Pakistan in Tests only to lose five One Day Internationals and three T20s against the same opposition.

Here are the 10 reasons to watch India vs Sri Lanka Test match:

1. Purely on basis of form, India has won four Tests out of the last five matches. Last three of them were against Sri Lanka only in August. Sri Lanka, on the other hand have some ground to cover as they have two wins in the last five matches—against Pakistan. What id noteworthy is that Sri Lanka has lost all their last five matches against India.

2. This year has been a tough one for the Islanders, as they have beaten India only once this year across all formats. That elusive win came in the Champions Trophy at the Oval.

3. Though the Indians and Lankans play together quite often, but it is after a hiatus of eight years that the Islander are coming to India to play a series. Last time when they were here, Virender Sehwag had scored 293 runs in 254 balls at Brabourne Stadium.

4. Lankans are yet to taste victory in a Test match in India. Out of the 17 meetings of the two sides in India, Sri Lanka has never managed to beat their opponents. India has been victorious on 10 occasions.

5. The first Test is going to be held in Kolkata, at the Eden Gardens. This will be the 41st Test to be contested at the venue, the most Tests at a single Indian venue.

6. Going into the match, India would be hoping to get another win under their belt as they have only lost once at Eden Gardens since 2000: Against England in 2012 by 7 wickets. They have won 7 Tests and drawn twice.

7. The highest Test score here is VVS Laxman’s 281 against AUS in 2001, while the best bowling figures here is Javagal Srinath’s 8/86 against Pakistan in 1999.

8. Though Ravichandran Ashwin is closing in on the 300-Test wicket mark, and has 26 fifers, the off-spinner has never picked up a fifer at Eden. However, Ashwin has scored the most runs among batsmen in this squad at this venue.

9. Virat Kohli has 2,208 runs across all formats this year. He tops the table, and behind him are the likes of Hashim Amla and Joe Root. Not only that, Kohli has the the most runs by an Indian skipper in a calendar year (2,208).

10. Ashwin is also just 6 wickets away from claiming 50 Test wickets in 2017. It will be the third successive calendar year he’s managed 50 or more Test wickets.

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First Published: November 15, 2017, 2:29 PM IST

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