India in Lanka: Da Vinci Codes

It’s unusual that I find myself in a position to analyze Team India’s sensational come-from-behind victory in an overseas series. So what if only 18 miles of sea separates the two countries? And so what if Sri Lanka had just come away after losing to an erratic Pakistani team at home? It still qualifies as a test series victory abroad – an achievement more rare than Delhi boys Virat Kohli or Ishant Sharma going three hours without making an incendiary gesture; a result more rare than the idiotic momentary belief that Harbhajan Singh will carry the Indian spin attack as the senior master. 

 
Here’s a semi-fictional statistical lowdown on the historical series:
 
21: The number of wickets R. Ashwin took in the series – the most taken by an Indian spinner in Sri Lanka, beating Anil Kumble’s 20.
23: The number of years between India’s test series victory in Sri Lanka.
28Harbhajan Singh’s age, when India last won in Sri Lanka in 1992.
30: The number of seconds it will take fans to forget this win once Dale Steyn and co. bowl to this team in Mohali in November.
 
13: Number of wickets taken by Ishant Sharma in the series at an average of 23.
14: Number of experts who still think he is unlucky to not get more wickets on seaming pitches
18: Number of runs scored by KL Rahul in 5 innings, the one century at P. Sara Oval aside. He scored 126 runs in total, and 108 out of them in that innings. 
18: Probability that, despite Rahul’s obvious inconsistency, Cheteshwar Pujara could replace him in the South Africa series. 
 
 
8: World Record number of catches by Ajinkya Rahane in the second test.
4: Number of batsmen who opened for India in the series – Murali VijayPujaraShikhar Dhawan and Rahul.
4: Number of times Rohit Sharma was dismissed after being set just at the stroke of lunch or stumps. 
4: Man-of-the-series awards for R. Ashwin in his test career.
5: The batting position of Rohit, which will now ensure that Pujara – the best test batsman – will be left out in the near future with Rahane at 3.
3: Number of people who still believe in Stuart Binny’s presence as a bowling all-rounder in the side. 
30: Number of people who still believe in Binny’s role as a batting all-rounder in the side.
 
90: Bowling average of Harbhajan Singh in what will certainly be his last ever test match at Galle.
9: Number of fans who still remembered his name after the emotional farewell of Kumar Sangakkara at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo.
9000: Number of  ‘unbiased’ Indian commentators that actually expected Sangakkara to lay India to the sword and win the series for his team. 
 
10: Number of batsmen Angelo Mathews was actually making up for by carrying his team on his shoulders – a Jaya, a Sanga, and an opener.
11: Number of average seconds between instances where Sanjay Manjrekar gasped his admiration for bowler Dhammika Prasad.
99: Probability that Manjrekar was one of the men standing with a bat to beat up Ishant Sharma after his run-in with Prasad on the field.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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