India-Sri Lanka Tests: Down the years
As India prepares to lock horns with Sri Lanka in the Emarald Isles, we take a look down the memory lane to pick out some glorious moments that make this Asia rivalry big.
India and Sri Lanka played their first official Test match in 1982/83 on Indian soil. Since then the two nations have toured each other on several occasions and both teams have had memorable wins and forgettable defeats.<br><br> The overall record shows that India has got an upper hand with 13 victories while Sri Lanka has won only 5 Tests.<br><br> One record that the Sri Lankans would like to change is their inability to win a Test match on Indian soil yet.<br><br> CricketNDTV.com takes a look at the momentous outings between the two nations in the longer format of the game till date.
India went on a tour of Sri Lanka where they played an official Test match for the first time in 1985. A tour on which many would have thought that the established batting line-up of India would get the better of the Lankan bowlers was in for a real shocker.<br><br> In the second Test match, Lankan medium pacer Rumesh Ratnayake ripped apart the Indian batting and ended the match with 9 wickets to lead Sri Lanka to their maiden Test match victory.<br><br> The Indians lost the match by 149 runs and along with that a great chunk of self esteem too. Although they mounted a great fightback in the last Test match, but centuries by Duleep Mendis and Roy Dias ensured a draw for Lanka and their maiden series win.
The following year the Lankans came to India and it was the perfect opportunity for the Indians to win back their lost pride.<br><br> After a draw in the first Test where both teams scored heavily, India got the better of the Lankans in the next two matches.<br><br> The cornerstone of this success was the rise of the left handed spinner Maninder Singh. The youngster took 10 wickets in the second Test match in Nagpur which India won by an innings and 106 runs.<br><br> He was again instrumental in the last Test in Cuttack picking up 6 wickets and helping India win the match by an innings and 67 runs.
India won their first Test series on Lankan soil in 1993 when they won the 2nd Test match of the three match series in Colombo by a margin of 235 runs.<br><br> One man who shone through the series was India's new batting star Vinod Kambli, who hit two centuries in the three innings that he played.
Sri Lanka had to wait for 16 years to win their second Test match against India after winning their first in 1985.<br><br> Sri Lanka got the better of the Indians when they hosted them in 2001. They won the first Test match by 10 wickets and then heaped misery on them again in the last Test by beating them by an innings and 77 runs.<br><br> India were led to victory in the second Test match at Kandy by their skipper Sourav Ganguly, who hit an unbeaten 98 to guide his team home.<br><br> But star of the show was local boy Muttiah Muralitharan, who picked up 11 wickets in the last Test to give Lanka the series win.
Sri Lanka visited India in 2005 and it was India's chance to settle the issue. After a drawn first Test, India managed to beat the Islanders by 188 runs in the second Test match in New Delhi.<br><br> It was also the match which saw Sachin Tendulkar score his 35th Test ton and become the leading century-maker in Test match cricket. Anil Kumble sealed the Indian win with 10 wickets in the match.<br><br> The third Test saw Harbhajan Singh coming to the party as he picked up 11 wickets in the match to take India to a 259-run win. Both Harbhajan and Kumble picked up 34 wickets amongst themselves in the three match series.
India visited Sri Lanka again in 2008 and it was expected that the Indians will get the better of the Lankans with their famed batting line-up. But alongwith the menacing Muralitharan, India had to face a mystery man in the Lankan bowling attack.<br><br> Young spinner Ajantha Mendis with his 'carrom-flick' bowling style bamboozled the Indian batsmen and ended the series with a rich haul of 26 wickets.<br><br> As in 2001, the Indians managed a solitary win the the second Test, winning by a margin of 170 runs, but Sri Lanka were on the top in the first and the last Test match to win the series 2-1.
Sri Lanka's tour of India in 2009 wasn't a happy one as they were beaten 2-0 in the three match series. The victories came in the second and third Test and both were huge as the Lankans were beaten by an innings and more.<br><br> This series win was an important one for M S dhoni's boys as it helped them claim the top spot in the ICC Test rankings, a spot that they have retained since then.