The 1-0 result over Sri Lanka was India’s ninth series win in a row, putting them level with Australia and England. © BCCI

The 1-0 result over Sri Lanka was India’s ninth series win in a row, putting them level with Australia and England. © BCCI

The third Test between India and Sri Lanka in New Delhi over the last few days witnessed a swashbuckling double-century from Virat Kohli, a gritty 164 from Dinesh Chandimal, and an equally impressive fourth-innings ton from Dhananjaya de Silva, but the match will remain in memory as the one where the Sri Lankan players had to field with masks on to counter the smog in the Indian capital city.

Although the match ended in a draw on Wednesday (December 6), India won the three-Test series 1-0, registering their ninth consecutive series win. Incidentally, their winning streak started against Sri Lanka, when India won 2-1 on their tour of the island nation back in 2015.

Currently, India are tied with Australia and England in terms of most consecutive series wins. Next, they will tour South Africa where they are yet to register a series win.

Most consecutive Test series wins

Team Series From To
India 9* v Sri Lanka, 2015 v Sri Lanka, 2017-18
Australia 9 v World XI, 2005-06 v West Indies, 2008
England 9 v Australia, 1884 v South Africa, 1891-92

Meanwhile, after his 213 in the second Test, Kohli scored yet another double in the first innings in the third – this time 243, his career-best. He became the sixth batsman after Wally Hammond (twice), Don Bradman, Vinod Kambli, Kumar Sangakkara and Michael Clarke to score double-centuries in back-to-back innings.

This was Kohli’s sixth double in Test cricket, putting him level with Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag for the most double-centuries for India. All six of Kohli’s double-tons have come while leading the side, taking him past Brian Lara, who had scored five double-centuries as captain.

This was also Kohli’s third double-ton in 2017. Only Michael Clarke (four) has scored more in a calendar year. Last year, too, Kohli had three scores of 200 or more in Test cricket.

Most double-centuries in a calendar year

Player Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 200s Year
Michael Clarke (Aus) 11 18 3 1595 329* 106.33 4 2012
Don Bradman (Aus) 6 8 0 978 334 122.25 3 1930
Ricky Ponting (Aus) 11 18 3 1503 257 100.20 3 2003
Brendon McCullum (NZ) 9 16 0 1164 302 72.75 3 2014
Virat Kohli (Ind) 10 16 2 1059 243 75.64 3 2017
Virat Kohli (Ind) 12 18 2 1215 235 75.93 3 2016

During the course of his innings, Kohli completed 5000 runs in Test cricket in just 105 innings – the fourth fastest among Indians to reach the landmark. By the end of the match, he had 5268 runs to his name.

Fastest to 5000 Test runs

Player Inns Opposition Venue Match Date
Sunil Gavaskar 95 Australia Bangalore September 19, 1979
Virender Sehwag 99 Sri Lanka Galle July 31, 2008
Sachin Tendulkar 103 Pakistan Kolkata February 16, 1999
Virat Kohli 105 Sri Lanka Delhi December 2, 2017
Rahul Dravid 108 England Leeds August 22, 2002

Note: Sehwag’s record includes one Test for ICC World XI

Kohli continued his rich vein of form with an innings of 50 in the second innings as well, thus taking his run-tally in the series to 610, fourth-most by any batsman in a three-Test series.

Most runs a three-Test series

Player Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100s Series
Graham Gooch (Eng) 3 6 0 752 333 125.33 3 India in England, 1990
Brian Lara (WI) 3 6 0 688 221 114.66 3 Windies in Sri Lanka, 2001-02
Mohammad Yousuf (Pak) 3 5 0 665 192 133.00 4 Windies in Pakistan, 2006-07
Virat Kohli (Ind) 3 5 1 610 243 152.50 3 Sri Lanka in India, 2017-18
David Warner (Aus) 3 6 0 592 253 98.66 3 New Zealand in Australia, 2015-16

If runs flowed from Kohli’s bat, Ajinkya Rahane, his deputy, could hardly score any. In the five innings Rahane played in the series, he could gather just 17 runs at an average of 3.40. Mohinder Amarnath of India once had a solitary run from six innings against Windies in 1983-84, the least for a top-seven batsman in a series.

Least runs in a series for a top-seven batsman

Player Mat Inns NO Runs Ave 0s Series
Mohinder Amarnath (Ind) 3 6 0 1 0.16 5 Windies in India, 1983-84
Ken Rutherford (NZ) 4 7 0 12 1.71 3 New Zealand in Windies, 1984-85
Richie Benaud (Aus) 3 5 0 15 3.00 2 Ashes (Australia in England), 1953
Shaun Marsh (Aus) 4 6 0 17 2.83 3 India in Australia, 2011-12
Ricky Ponting (Aus) 3 5 0 17 3.40 3 Australia in India, 2000-01
Ajinkya Rahane (Ind) 3 5 0 17 3.40 1 Sri Lanka in India, 2017-18

Note: Minimum five dismissals

India set Sri Lanka a target of 410, but de Silva’s innings of 119 before he retired hurt helped the visiting side salvage a draw on the final day. Sri Lanka ended with 299 for 5 in their second innings – the highest fourth-innings total by any visiting side in India. The previous highest was Windies’ 276 for 5 at the same venue when Viv Richards steered his side to a five-wicket victory.

Highest fourth-innings total by a visiting side in India

Team Score Overs Winners Venue Match Date
Sri Lanka 299/5 103 Draw New Delhi December 2, 2017
Windies 276/5 85.3 Windies New Delhi November 25, 1987
New Zealand 272/6 107 Draw Ahmedabad October 8, 2003
Windies 270/7 93 Draw Chennai January 13, 1967
Windies 266 81.4 India Mumbai November 18, 1994

Earlier, Dilruwan Perera picked up his 100th Test wicket when he dismissed Shikhar Dhawan in the first innings. Perera took just 25 matches to reach the landmark, breaking Muttiah Muralitharan’s Sri Lankan record of 27 Tests.

Fastest to 100 Test wickets for Sri Lanka

Player Mat Opposition Venue Match Date
Dilruwan Perera 25 India New Delhi December 2, 2017
Muttiah Muralitharan 27 New Zealand Hamilton March 14, 1997
Rangana Herath 29 Australia Colombo (SSC) September 16, 2011
Lasith Malinga 30 India Colombo (PSS) August 3, 2010
Chaminda Vaas 33 Zimbabwe Harare November 26, 1999

This was the last Test for India in 2017, which meant R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja ended the year with 56 and 54 scalps respectively. At the time of writing, Ashwin was second on the list of highest wicket-takers this calendar year, while Jadeja was fourth, though this may change by the time the year ends.

Most Test wickets in 2017

Player Mat Wkts Ave BBI BBM SR 5WI 10WM
Nathan Lyon (Aus) 9 57 22.10 8-50 13-154 49.4 5 1
R Ashwin (Ind) 11 56 27.58 6-41 8-125 59.3 2 0
Kagiso Rabada (SA) 10 54 20.96 6-55 10-63 38.5 3 2
Ravindra Jadeja (Ind) 10 54 23.05 6-63 9-178 56.5 3 0
Rangana Herath (SL) 11 52 27.53 6-43 11-136 53.6 5 2