Stats: Highest opening partnerships in Sri Lanka in Test cricket

Dhawan and Rahul’s partnership of 188 is the highest for a visiting opening pair in Test cricket in Sri Lanka

India’s opening batsmen Lokesh Rahul (L) and Shikhar Dhawan (R). (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul set up a great start for India on the day 1 of the Pallekele Test against Sri Lanka. The pair shared a 188-run stand scoring at nearly 4.5 runs an over and put pressure on the home side.

The partnership came to an end when KL Rahul, batting on 85, skipped down the ground to Malinda Pushpakumara and found the mid-on fielder. Shikhar Dhawan also fell soon but not before scoring his 6th Test century. The left-hander struck 119 in just 123 balls before he was caught at square leg off Pushpakumara’s bowling.

Dhawan and Rahul’s partnership of 188 is now the highest for a visiting opening pair in Test cricket in Sri Lanka as the pair overhauled the record of 171 runs held by an Indian pair. Navjot Singh Sidhu and Manoj Prabhakar put on 171 in 1993 at the Colombo (SSC).

This 188-run stand between Dhawan and Rahul is also the 3rd highest stand for the opening wicket in Test cricket in Sri Lanka behind Marvan Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya pair’s 335 and 193 stands respectively in 2000.

In the last 15 years, three of the top 4 opening stands in Test cricket in Sri Lanka are by Indian pairs. Virender Sehwag put on 167 along with Gautam Gambhir in 2008 and 165 with Murali Vijay in 2010. The 188 partnership by the Indian pair is their first 100-run opening stand in Tests in 2017 and the highest by any team for the first wicket as they went past the 155-run stand between Pakistan’s Ahmed Shehzad and Azhar Ali against Windies.

Highest opening stands in Tests in Sri Lanka:

Pair Team Runs Inns No Opposition Ground Start Date
MS Atapattu, ST Jayasuriya Sri Lanka 335 1 Pakistan Kandy 28-Jun-2000
MS Atapattu, ST Jayasuriya Sri Lanka 193 1 South Africa Galle 20-Jul-2000
S Dhawan, KL Rahul  India 188 1 Sri Lanka Pallekele 12-Aug-2017
M Prabhakar, NS Sidhu India 171 3 Sri Lanka Colombo (SSC) 27-Jul-1993
G Gambhir, V Sehwag India 167 1 Sri Lanka Galle 31-Jul-2008
AJ Hall, JA Rudolph South Africa 165 3 Sri Lanka Colombo (SSC) 27-Jul-2006
V Sehwag, M Vijay India 165 2 Sri Lanka Colombo (SSC) 26-Jul-2010
RP Arnold, ST Jayasuriya Sri Lanka 157 3 Pakistan Colombo (SSC) 26-Apr-1997
SV Carlisle, TR Gripper Zimbabwe 153 2 Sri Lanka Galle 12-Jan-2002


(Stats as on August 12, 2017)