Benedict Bermange takes a closer look at Tharanga Paranavitana's impact on Sri Lanka.
Last Updated: 27/05/11 8:27am
Tharanga Paranavitana and Tillakaratne Dilshan added 93 for Sri Lanka's first wicket on day one of the opening Test against England.
On Sri Lanka's last tour here in 2006, a combination of Jehan Mubarak, Upul Tharanga and Michael Vandort opened with partnerships of 0, 10, 3, 2, 2 and 6 for a total of 23 runs at an average of 3.83.
This is Paranavitana's first Test innings outside the subcontinent. His previous 28 innings were all played in Asia.
He became the 13th player to score centuries in each of his first two first-class matches in England (or Wales!), and this innings tries to become the just the third to reach three figures in each of his first three:
|Hashim Amla||2008||172, 161, 6 & 104*|
|Phil Hughes||2009||118 & 65*, 139, 195 & 57|
Kumar Sangakkara started his post-captaincy career with a score of 11. He averaged 70.47 in his 14 Tests as captain - the highest average of anyone not named Don Bradman who captained at least 10 Tests.
His dismissal pushed his batting average against England down to 39.15 - the only country of the nine he has faced against which he averages less than 40. So - possibly temporarily - Ricky Ponting is the only player to have averaged at least 40 against the other nine Test-playing nations.
He will be hoping to emulate Aravinda de Silva, who averaged significantly more after having been relieved of the captaincy. Here are the top four in terms of improving their average.
|Player||Matches as captain||Ave as captain||Matches after captaincy||Ave after captaincy||Difference|
|Gerry Alexander (WI)||18||22.19||5||60.50||38.31|
|Ian Botham (Eng)||12||13.14||65||35.52||22.38|
|Aravinda de Silva (SL)Total||26.00||61||17||43.50||17.50|
Part of England's recent Test success is due to the fact that their only dropped 23.5 percent of all their chances in the field in 2010, an improvement from 28 percent which they achieved in both 2008 and 2009.
The overall percentage of Test chances dropped over the past year is 27.5% with Australia the best at 23 percent and the West Indies now the worst at 36 percent - even worse than Pakistan and Bangladesh. Virender Sehwag has been dropped 54 times over the past decade - more than anyone else.
Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss need to add 112 runs together to move past Michael Slater and Mark Taylor and into fourth place in the list of the most runs added as an opening pair:
|GC Greenidge, DL Haynes (WI)||1978-1991||148||11||6482||47.31||16||26|
|ML Hayden, JL Langer (Aus)||2001-2007||113||4||5655||51.88||14||24|
|MS Atapattu, ST Jayasuriya (SL)||1997-2007||118||7||4469||40.26||9||24|
|MJ Slater, MA Taylor (Aus)||1993-1999||78||2||3387||51.14||10||15|
|AN Cook, AJ Strauss (Eng)||2006-2011||87||2||3776||44.42||10||15|