India-Sri Lanka down the memory lane

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> How have India fared in Test matches in Sri Lanka? takes a trip in history.

Updated: July 23, 2008 10:46 IST
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Sri Lanka have a slight upper hand when they play India at home. India have just one Test series win in Sri Lanka, while the hosts have two. looks at the previous Indian Test tours to Sri Lanka.

Three Tests - 1985-86

It was India's first tour of Sri Lanka and the sequence of events here ultimately led India to boycott the Asia Cup when the island nation hosted it the following year. India were unimpressive in the first Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club where Sri Lanka took a big first innings lead with hundreds from Ranjan Madugalle and Arjuna Ranatunga. Dilip Vengsarkar's spirited 98 not out saved India the game. Sri Lanka posted their first Test win in the next game, beating India by 149 runs at the Sarvanamuttu Stadium. Rumesh Ratnayake took nine wickets - including 5-49 in the final innings - to help Sri Lanka's cause. The nation broke in celebrations with the win, while India were aggrieved by the umpiring standards and decided not to tour Sri Lanka for Asia Cup. The final Test the Asgiriya ended in a draw, and Sri Lanka thus won their first Test series.

Three Tests - 1993

India's first Test series in Sri Lanka in almost a decade was also blemished by the tourists frequently complaining about the umpiring. India were going strong after demolishing England 3-0 at home. The first game at the Asgiriya was a washout. In the second Test at the Sinhalese, centuries from Vinod Kambli, Sachin Tendulkar and Navjot Sidhu helped India in a big way. The standout performance was Manoj Prabhakar's 95 and eight wickets in the match. India posted their first overseas win since 1986, winning by 235 runs. It would remain India's only win abroad till 2000. The final Test at the Sarvanamuttu, both sides featured in a high-scoring draw. India took the series 1-0.

Two Tests - 1997

The 0-0 scoreline of the two-Test series in no way shows the battering India's bowlers took. After India made 537 batting first at the Premadasa, nobody would have imagined what was to follow next. Sanath Jayasuriya made 340 and Roshan Mahanama 225 as Sri Lanka made 952-6. India's manager Madan Lal complained about Lanka's sporting spirit after they batted for three full days to push for the world record score instead of allowing India another go with the bat. The next game wasn't different. Aravinda de Silva made twin hundreds and Jayasuriya ran up 199 in quick time in the second knock as the hosts set India 373 to win. India went into the final day all ten wickets and 53 runs in the bank. But Ranatunga persisted with a defensive line. India's slow batting - particularly by Tendulkar (8 from 44 balls) and Dravid (6 from 46) - shut out any chance of a result, and the series was drawn.

One Test, Asian Test Championship - 1999

The two sides met at the Sinhalese for an Asian Test Championship fixture. The pitch offered little help to bowlers and India made 518 - 351 of those on the first day - with centuries from Rahul Dravid and Sadagoppan Ramesh. Mahela Jayawardene, still a tyro then, scored a mammoth 242, with some help from dropped catches and an umpiring blunder by Rudi Koertzen. India took a slender first innings lead and made a further 306, this time with a Tendulkar century. But with rain and bad light interruptions, the match was headed for a draw long before that.

Three Tests - 2001

This was the series when both sides would come out of defensive mindsets and play result oriented cricket. India came up with a weak batting performance in the first Test in Galle, making 187 and 180. Sri Lanka won by ten wickets to go one-up. In the next Test at Kandy, Sri Lanka's batting was exposed by Zaheer Khan (4-76) and Venkatesh Prasad (5-72) and at one stage, the hosts were nine-down leading by only 199 runs. Muttiah Muralitharan, the trigger-happy tailender, scored an aggressive 67 and frustrated India's bowlers by taking the target to 263. The match hung in balance with Dravid and the out-of-form Ganguly manning the chase. Ganguly (98) hit the winning runs as India won by seven wickets.

In the decider at the Sinhalese, a turner awaited India. Muralitharan, who had a modest record against India till now, took 11 wickets in the game, including 8-87 in the first innings where India went from 97-0 to 234 all out. Four Lankans, including the debutant Thilan Samaraweera, made hundreds in reply in a score of 610. India replied with 299 in the second knock, and lost by an innings and 77 runs.


Tests played: 12
India won: 2
Sri Lanka won: 3
Drawn: 7

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