India vs Sri Lanka in ODIs – A 42-year old rivalry that started in 1979

India led by Shikhar Dhawan are on a tour of Sri Lanka for a nearly one-month long tour comprising of three ODIs and three T20Is. Coached by the former skipper of India, Rahul Dravid the team is full of young talent who have performed at a decent click over the years in IPL, the domestic circuit and in the opportunities that they have got to play for India.

This article looks back at the initial games between the two sides and the top performers across categories in the latter part to give an idea into the overall records for the reader.


Looking back, India and Sri Lanka came face to face with each other for the first time in the 1979 World Cup in England. The match was played at Old Trafford in Manchester on June 16, 1979 and was won by the Sri Lankan team by a margin of 47 runs. Sunil Wettimuny (67), Roy Dias (50) and Duleep Mendis (64) combined together in a brilliant top order batting performance to help their team to a total of 238/5 in the allotted 60 overs. The established Indian batting lineup consisting of Sunil Gavaskar, Anshuman Gaekwad, Dilip Vengsarkar, Gundappa Vishwanath and Mohinder Amarnath among others folded up for 191 runs in return wrecked mainly by Tony Opatha’s 3/31 and Somachandra De Silva’s 3/29 respectively.


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Head-to-Head

If one looks at the overall records then India have an upper hand as they have won 91 of the 159 matches played against Sri Lanka. India have lost 56 matches while one match ended in a tie and 11 matches produced no results.


Head-to-Head in Sri Lanka

In the 61 matches played in Sri Lanka, India have won 28 games while Sri Lanka have won 27 games while 6 matches have produced no results.


The initial years

After the 1979 match World Cup match, Sri Lanka came to India for their maiden Test tour in 1982. During that tour, three One-Dayers were played in Amritsar, Delhi and Bengaluru. India won all of these matches in a clean sweep for their nation. India were captained by Sunil Gavaskar and Sri Lanka were captained by Bandula Warnapura. Kris Srikanth top-scored for India with 244 runs in the series with three fifties to his name and played a vital role in India’s victory in all the matches.


The next important series between