England launched their busy 2021 with a successful Test series win over Sri Lanka, completing a 2-0 victory on Monday morning in Galle.
It is England’s fourth series win in a row and Joe Root’s side are now unbeaten in 10 successive Tests under his leadership as they now turn their attention to a difficult tour of India which starts on February 5.
Here, Sportsmail’s Lawrence Booth looks at the numbers behind a fifth consecutive victory on the road for England…
Joe Root’s golden arm saw him join Richie Benaud in the record books on Monday
Only one England batsman has made more runs in a two-Test series than the 426 Joe Root managed in Sri Lanka: in 1932-33, Wally Hammond scored 563 in New Zealand.
Not content with making runs, Root became only the second bowler in Test history to take more than one wicket in an innings without conceding a run. His second-innings figures were 1.5-1-0-2. At Delhi in 1959-60, Australia’s Richie Benaud took three for none against India.
If Root leads England to victory over India in the first Test at Chennai starting on February 5 – his 100th Test – he will equal Michael Vaughan’s national record of 26 victories, though from only 47 games to Vaughan’s 51.
England became the first team in Test history to claim all 10 wickets in one innings with seam, and all 10 in the other with spin.
Root has guided England to five successive away Test wins for the first time in over 100 years
Jack Leach now has 28 Test wickets in Sri Lanka, the most by any England bowler. During the course of his second-innings four for 59, he went past the 25 of fellow left-arm spinner Ashley Giles, now England’s managing director.
England’s sixth successive win in Sri Lanka was also their fifth in a row away from home – their best overseas sequence since winning seven in succession between December 1911 and January 1914 in Australia and South Africa.
England have now won four series in a row, home and away – their best sequence since Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook led them to six victories in succession between March 2010 and July 2011, culminating in a 4-0 win over India that took them to the top of the Test rankings.
Lasith Embuldeniya’s 42-ball 40 from No 10 was his highest first-class score in 50 innings. He had never previously made more than 26, with an average of 11.