Top 5 innings played by Indians against Sri Lanka at home

Ganguly stroked a fine 173 to almost earn India a victory

Virat Kohli & co. will cross swords with Dinesh Chandimal's men as India and Sri Lanka engage in a three-match Test series, starting 16th November at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Hosted by India, it will be the third bilateral Test series to be played between the two neighbours in the last six years.

Sri Lanka, who are yet to win a Test match in India, suffered a 3-0 whitewash at home when the Men in Blue toured the Island Nation in August this year.

As far as the history of Test cricket between the two countries is concerned, the familiar foes have faced each other 41 times in the longest format of the game.

India managed to win on 19 occasions, Sri Lanka won seven, while 15 matches ended in a draw.

India-Sri Lanka encounters are predominantly high-scoring and the upcoming series should not be an exception.

So, let's have a look at the top five Test innings played by Indian batsmen against Sri Lanka at home.

#5 Sourav Ganguly 173 (Mumbai, 1997)

In 1997, Sri Lanka toured India for a three-match Test series and with 392 runs at 98 per innings, including a 109 and 173, Sourav Ganguly was the top scorer and Man of the Series.

Although the series did not produce a result - all three matches ended in stalemates - Ganguly's second highest Test score and highest at that time made Sri Lanka toil hard to earn a draw in the final game that was played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, who, with 1,995 runs and nine centuries, is the most successful Indian batsman against Sri Lanka, also scored 148 in the first innings, but, it was overshadowed by Ganguly's gritty innings of 173 that included 25 fours and two sixes.

#4 Sunil Gavaskar 176 (Kanpur, 1986)

Gavaskar put on a show
Gavaskar put on a show in Kanpur

On 17th December 1986, Sunil Gavaskar brought up his 34th Test ton, in a five-day encounter against Sri Lanka that was played at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur.

It is the fourth highest Test score by an Indian against Sri Lanka at home but what makes it even more special is the fact that it was the last one to come off Gavaskar's bat in the longest format of the game.

Scored at a strike rate of 58.27, the opening batsman's 176 consisted of 22 boundaries.

Although the match ended in a draw, Team India posted a mammoth first innings score of 676/7.

Mohammad Azharuddin (199) and Kapil Dev (163) were the other centurions of India's innings.

#3 Rahul Dravid 177 (Ahmedabad, 2009)

Dravid resuced India from a precarious position to drive them to safety
Dravid rescued India from a precarious position to drive them to safety

In a 2009 Test against Sri Lanka in Ahmedabad, 'The Wall' Rahul Dravid lived up to the reputation of the title bestowed upon him to rescue India from a precarious position.

Dravid, who brought up his 28th Test ton, scored 177 off 261 balls with 26 fours and a six.

The hosts were reduced to 32/4 as Chanaka Welegedara removed Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Virender Sehwag.

Under tremendous pressure, Dravid restored India's pride and took his team out of troubled waters with help from Yuvraj Singh (68) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (110).

India finished off with 426 and the match ended in a draw.

That result proved to be crucial as India won the series 2-0.

#2 Mohammad Azharuddin 199 (Kanpur, 1986)

One of Azharuddin's finest knocks
One of Azharuddin's finest knocks

Supremely stylish and a lovely driver of the cricket ball, Mohammad Azharuddin featured in 99 Tests and scored 6215 runs at an average of 45.03.

With 22 Test tons and 21 fifties to his credit, the former Team India skipper was dismissed for his highest Test score of 199 in the 1986 five-day match against Sri Lanka in Kanpur.

Azharuddin became one of just seven batsmen in the history of Test cricket to fall so tantalisingly short of a double-hundred.

However, his ton, that consisted of 16 fours and a six, led India to a position of strength as the hosts posted a first innings total of 676/7 and the match ended in a draw.

#1 Virender Sehwag's 293 (Mumbai, 2009)

There was simply no stopping the
There was simply no stopping the Nawab of Najafgarh on the day

Team India's most explosive opener ever, Virender Sehwag took to one of the most formidable spin bowling attacks in the world, but fell seven runs short of a record-breaking third Test triple ton on the third day of a 2009 Test against Sri Lanka in Mumbai.

Sehwag, who was the only Test triple centurion from the country at the time, also became the third batsman to achieve the feat twice, along with Australia's Donald Bradman and West Indies' Brian Lara.

The innings of 293, that was studded with 40 boundaries and seven maximums, was brought to an end by legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.

The fifth 200-plus Test score from the Nawab of Najafgarh, the maximum by an Indian, ensured the hosts' win and sealed their top spot in the ICC Test team rankings.

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Edited by Arvind Sriram
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