Virat Kohli factor in bilateral Series: Sri Lanka look to snap loosing streak to India

India will begin their New Year with a 3-match T20I series against familiar foes Sri Lanka from January 5. While Sri Lanka arrived in Guwahati for the series opener on Thursday, Virat Kohli’s men will reach the city Friday morning.

For Virat Kohli-led Team India, it will be a resumption of preparations for the T20 World Cup scheduled to be held later this year in Australia. If numbers are anything to by, it couldn’t have been an easier start to the New Year for Team India.

Sri Lanka have been a shadow of their former self across all formats of the game in the recent past and their records against India over the last 12 years are anything but ordinary.

Sri Lanka have not won a bilateral series against India (across all the three formats) since August 2008 wherein India captain Virat Kohli made his international debut. 12 years!

In 59 matches played between the two sides (all tournaments) in the said period, India have managed 44 wins while losing only 10 matches. Some of those defeats have come at major tournaments, including the T20 World Cup final in 2014 and a Champions Trophy in 2017.

However, the last time Sri Lanka defeated India in a bilateral series was in August 2008 wherein an Anil Kumble-led visiting side lost a 3-match series in the island nation. India have won 4 Test series since then while Sri Lanka have managed a draw in a series.

In ODIs since Virat Kohli’s debut, India have completely dominated Sri Lanka in bilateral assignments, winning 7 out of 7.

In T20Is, India have won 5 out of the 6 series played in the said period while 1 played in 2009 ended in a draw. Moreover, Sri Lanka have never defeated India in a bilateral T20I series so far.

How has Virat Kohli fared against Sri Lanka? No surprise.

The India captain has 3507 international runs, including 13 hundreds and 17 fifties, at an average of 66.16 against Sri Lanka. In T20Is, Kohli has scored 283 runs in just 4 matches at an average of 94.33.

Sri Lanka have to step up and their senior pros need to deliver if they are to end the horror run against India. The islanders, who are ranked 7th, have lost 3 of their last 4 series and are heading into the series against India on the back of a 3-0 defeat in Australia.

On the other hand, India will look to continue their winning run in the shortest format of the game after having sealed victories over Bangladesh and West Indies towards the end of 2019.


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