In wins, Sanath Jayasuriya’s innings have the four highest Player Indexes with Sangakkara occupying the fifth spot. Sanath’s innings of 134 run off 65 balls versus Pakistan in Singapore in 1996 has the highest Player Index in wins for Sri Lanka. It is remarkable that Sanath features six times in the list of top ten highest Player Indexes in wins.
|ST Jayasuriya||134||206.15||276.241||Sri Lanka vs. Pakistan, Singapore, 1996|
|ST Jayasuriya||157||150.96||237.0072||Sri Lanka vs. Netherlands, Amstelveen, 2006|
|ST Jayasuriya||152||153.53||233.3656||Sri Lanka vs. England, Headingley, 2006|
|ST Jayasuriya||189||117.39||221.8671||Sri Lanka vs. India, Sharjah, 2000|
|KC Sangakkara||169||123.35||208.4615||Sri Lanka vs. South Africa, Colombo, 2013|
The list of highest Impact in Wins was almost identical to that of highest Player Indexes with Sanath’s innings occupying the top four spots.
|Player||Runs||SR||Player Index||Team Index||Impact in Wins||Start Date|
In defeats, Dilshan’s 160 against India in 2009 occupies the first place in the list of highest Player Indexes.
|Player||Runs||SR||Player Index||Start Date|
Sanath Jayasuriya’s innings of 76 off 28 balls against Pakistan in 1996 has the highest Impact in Defeats for a Sri Lankan batsman.
|Player||Runs||SR||Team Avg||Team SR||Team Index||Impact in Defeats||Start Date|
Only three batsmen have a positive average Impact in Wins among batsmen who have featured in at least 50 wins as the rest of the batsmen have, on average, fared worse than their teammates in wins. The World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga has the highest average Impact in Wins.
|Player||Avg Impact in Wins|
|PA de Silva||4.613525|
It should be noted that Arjuna Ranatunga has remained not out in 33 of the 99 wins, which has aggravated his Impact in Wins. Only Angelo Mathews, who has remained not out in 31 of 71 wins, has a higher not-out percentage in wins.
Among batsmen, who have faced at least 50 defeats, Sangakkara reigns supreme having an average Impact in Defeats of 12.7. Quite contrary to average in Impact in Wins, 14 batsmen boast of a positive average Impact in Defeats.
|Player||Avg Impact in Defeats|
|PA de Silva||8.18806332|
Most batsmen seem to have fared better in defeats than in wins as only two Sri Lankan batsmen have a better performance in wins.
|Player||Avg Impact in Wins||Avg Impact in Defeats||Match Winning Index|
|PA de Silva||4.613525||8.18806332||-3.57454|
Arjuna Ranatunga emerges as Sri Lanka’s greatest ever match winner according to this method with a Match Winning Index of 1.15, followed by Sanath Jayasuriya.
The portly left-hander has had a greater impact in wins than defeats and Sanath’s impact has been almost consistent in both wins and defeats. Surprisingly, Upul Tharanga, Asanka Gurusinha, and Hashan Tillakaratne have a lower Match Winning Index than Muttiah Muralitharan. All three of these batsmen have a very poor average Impact in Wins and possessing a positive average Impact in Defeats means that their impact in wins relative to defeats become worse. Murali’s impact in wins, in contrast, is only 19.4234 less than that in defeats.
One disadvantage of finding the difference between the average Impact in Wins and the average Impact in Defeats is that a team’s poor bowling performance or the failure of the rest of the batting lineup could contribute to a team’s defeat, thus, turning a standout stellar performance of a batsman against his own self. This also leads to peculiar observations as in Sangakkara’s case, where a batsman performs exceptionally well in defeats and not so in wins.
If a higher Impact in Defeats could be interpreted as having done well in conditions and against oppositions under which and against whom the rest of the team has struggled, then this method could be considered highly unfair on batsmen. A good batsman playing for a very bad team will definitely suffer this fate. However, most of these batsmen with a great performance in defeats have done poorly in relation to their team in wins. Sangakkara, for instance, has an average Impact in Wins of -4.53, which leads to the question as to why a batsman who performs well under conditions and against oppositions that his team has found difficulties with, performs badly in wins.
One answer could be that the failure of batsmen who usually perform well have helped these batsmen have a better Impact in Defeats since Impact in Defeats is actually is a comparison between the player’s performance against that of his team. Whatsoever, Jayasuriya and Ranatunga have performed better than their teams in defeats and even better in wins, which is a not only a testament to their great batsmanship but also to their match-winning ability. The fact that Arjuna’s impact falls by 1.14 in defeats shows how great a champion he was for the Sri Lankan team.
Arjuna’s innings of 131 off 152 balls that came while successfully chasing a score of 227 is his greatest ever performance if you go by Impact in Wins. His 88 not out off 61 balls in the 1992 World Cup that helped Sri Lanka become the first team to chase down a score in excess of 300, and his 85 off 77 balls while chasing India’s 241 show that he was always a man for the crisis.
The findings are surprising since many would have expected either Sanath Jayasuriya or Aravinda de Silva to top the list. Arjuna Ranatunga, though a feisty batsman he was during his time, had his batting expertise masked by his adroit captaincy skills. This, however, is a testimony to the man’s leadership qualities. To have been the greatest match-winner of his country but to have people rather speak about his captaincy skills shows that the bellicose Sri Lankan was truly a giant figure in the history of Sri Lanka cricket.