Contrasting year for Sri Lanka and India

The margin of victory equalled India's largest in their Test history
India v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Nagpur, 4th day November 27, 2017

Sri Lanka have made sure that their 100th Test defeat will be remembered for a long time to come, and for all the wrong reasons. Their loss by an innings and 239 runs is their heaviest in Test history (in terms of innings defeats). Ironically, they won the toss in each of their five heaviest losses. Two of their top six losses, and three of their top ten, have come in 2017, which is again an illustration of the sort of year they have had.

Right through the Nagpur Test, Sri Lanka were hopelessly outclassed with both bat and ball: they lost 20 wickets in 128.4 overs, scoring only 18.55 runs per wicket, and picked up only six in 176.1 overs, conceding almost 102 runs per wicket. In terms of difference between the bowling and batting averages, this is the fifth largest for Sri Lanka in Tests they have lost.

On the other hand, there was plenty for India to celebrate. The margin of the result equals their biggest Test win - they had also won by the same margin against Bangladesh in Mirpur in 2007. These two games are among only three Tests when four Indian batsmen scored hundreds. Three of India's six biggest wins have been against Sri Lanka.

When Sri Lanka won two Tests against Pakistan in the UAE, there was hope of some sort of a turnaround for Sri Lanka, but their performance in this Test firmly suggests those hopes were misplaced. This was their seventh Test loss this year, which equals the most defeats for them in any calendar year - they had also lost seven in 2015. Their margins of defeat also show just how uncompetitive they have been: of the seven defeats, four have been by an innings, and two by margins of more than 280 runs. In all international matches, this is already by far their worst year in terms of defeats: they have lost 35 games in 2017, ten more than their previous worst.

For India, 2017 has been an unprecedented high - this win was their 32nd international win of the year, their best ever. Their previous highest was 31, in 2016.

Sri Lanka have now lost 11 out of 19 Tests in India, and nine of those losses have been by an innings. Going by the way they lost, things are unlikely to get much better in Delhi.

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