India vs Sri Lanka may not have the charm of a India-Pakistan tie but it’s right up there on the scale of competition. The fixture has witnessed some of the most significant and controversial moments in world cricket.
As they get ready to battle again in the Champions Trophy, we take a look at eight of the most historic moments from India-Sri Lanka matches over the years:
1. 1996 World Cup walkover
India reached the last four of the World Cup in 1996 after beating their arch-rivals Pakistan, completely unaware of what the semis had in store for them. Batting first, Sri Lanka posted a solid total of 251/8. Sachin Tendulkar led India’s reply, scoring 65, but his dismissal led to a collapse with India reduce to 120/8 from 35 overs.
The Eden Gardens crowd went berserk – bottles were thrown onto the field and stadium seats were set on fire. The situation deteriorated to such an extent that match referee Clive Lloyd awarded the game to Sri Lanka by default.
2. Record ODI partnership, 1999
Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid stitched a partnership of 318 runs in this famous match, and it was the highest ODI partnership of that time. Ganguly also struck his career-best 183 in this match. India’s 373/6 was their highest score in a World Cup as well – before they made 413/5 against Bermuda in 2007.
3. India’s lowest ODI total, 2000
Definitely the game Virat Kohli and company would not want to think of before they face the Lankans. In the match payed at the Sharjah Stadium, Team India were bundled out for a paltry 54 in reply to Sri Lanka’s 299. This remains India’s lowest ODI total.
The game is also famous for Sanath Jayasuriya’s batting blitzkrieg as he scored his career-best 189.
4. MS Dhoni’s highest ODI score, 2005
It was classic MS Dhoni on that day as he launched numerous helicopter shots against the hapless Lankan bowlers. The wicket-keeper batsman smashed 183 off 145 deliveries to help India chase down a target of 299 in Jaipur. What an innings!
5. Virat Kohli’s ODI debut, 2008
Skipper Kohli made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in 2008 in Dambulla. Opening the innings with Gautam Gambhir, the Delhi batsman made 12 runs off 22 balls. He may have made a slow start to his ODI career, but the swashbuckling batsman will be eyeing a big score against the Lankans on Thursday.
6. ODI World Cup victory, 2011
India ended their 28-year long wait for a second ODI World Cup title against Sri Lanka in Mumbai in 2011. Gambhir’s 97 and Dhoni’s unbeaten 91 helped the hosts chase down a target of 275. The World Cup sent the nation into a state of delirium – and the scenes are still unforgettable.
7. Sachin Tendulkar’s victory lap, 2011
Sachin Tendulkar waited 22 years and six World Cups for his dream to come true. The Master Blaster finally fulfilled his dream of winning the most coveted trophy in world cricket in 2011. And while the nation celebrated on the streets, Tendulkar was hoisted on their shoulders buy his teammates for a victory lap – pure elation.
8. World T20 victory, 2014
In 2014, it was Sri Lanka’s turn to enjoy a World Cup victory. The Lasith Malinga-led side defeated their neighbours in 2014 in Dhaka to clinch their first World T20 title.