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The hosts eye to end a nine year drought

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Last updated on 17 Jul 2021 | 04:55 AM
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The hosts eye to end a nine year drought

Sri Lanka have not won an ODI against India at home since 2012

A second Indian squad led by Shikhar Dhawan is scheduled to play three ODIs followed by another three T20Is. The start of the series was postponed from 13th July to 18th because of COVID-19 concerns. India have been one of the most successful teams against Sri Lanka in a prolonged rivalry between the two nations. Either it is at home, away or neutral conditions Sri Lanka have had their troubles against India. But, more than historical data, Sri Lanka’s recent performances have cost them dearly.

As the start of the ODI series nears, here are a few stats on how India and Sri Lanka have fared against each other: 

Most encounters between sides

The two teams have played 159 ODIs between each other. This is the most matches played between two sides in ODIs. The next most is between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, which is 155. Sri Lanka have played 61 matches at home, 51 away and 47 in neutral conditions against India. The 61 matches played against India at home is the most against a team for them. 

A poor record against India overall

Sri Lanka have struggled to get wins against India. There were times when Sri Lanka had the upper hand against India, especially in the ’90s. In Fact, the 90s was the best 10 years they had. For the next 10 years, the record was decent. But, in the last decade, India have been very prolific against the island nation. Overall in ODIs, Sri Lanka’s win percentage of 38.2% against India is their lowest against a team they have played 50+ matches with. To add more, India have won 91 matches out of the 159 played, the second-most wins for a team against an opponent. Australia against New Zealand and Pakistan against Sri Lanka have won the most (92). 

India in Sri Lanka > Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka

Under usual cases, the host country teams have a grip on matches as they have the advantage of pitch preparations and not to mention the spectators. But in India’s case, they have been extremely successful while touring the island nation. In ODIs since 2001, India have won 64.2% of the matches played in Sri Lanka, which is better than the percentage of wins for Sri Lanka in their home (61.8%). India’s win percentage is also the highest for a team in Sri Lanka since the aforementioned time. 

The two polar sides

Sri Lanka were the finalists in successive World Cups, 2007 and 2011. Though they fell short of winning, being the runners-up in two consecutive World Cups is in itself an applaudable achievement. However, the runners-up and the winners of the 2011 World Cup have had a decade that polar opposite since. India have won 63.8% of their matches, the highest among the top 10 ranked teams. Whereas, Sri Lanka have won only 42.3% of their matches. Only West Indies (37.7) have a poorer record than Sri Lanka among the top 10 ranked teams.

An unbeaten streak

It was in August 1997 that Sri Lanka last won a bilateral series against India (20 August 1997). Post that, it has been a wait of 23 years and 328 days (till July 18th) for Sri Lanka for a series win against India. The two teams have played 11 series between December 1997 till December 2017. India have won nine of those and two have ended in a draw. These 11 consecutive unbeaten series streaks for India is the second-longest for a team against an opponent in ODIs. Out of the 11, in the last eight series, India has been unbreachable. 

India’s invincible record against Sri Lanka in their backyard

In the last four ODI tours to Sri Lanka India have been invincible. Each of the last four series has been a five-match contest and India have won 3-2 (2008), 4-1 (2009), 4-1 (2012) and 5-0 (2017), making it four in four. No other team in ODIs has won as many successive series as India (4) in Sri Lanka. To add to India’s dominance, the last time Sri Lanka won an ODI match against India at home was in July 2012, eight matches ago. This also a record for a team beating Sri Lanka for the most consecutive matches at home in ODIs.

A one-sided affair 

Sri Lanka in total have played 18 bilateral ODI series against India. In these 18, they have won the series only twice and lost 14 of those. Their series win percentage of 11.1% against India is the most one-sided bilateral series affairs in ODIs when teams have played a minimum of 15 series. 

Sri Lanka’s record against India depleting at home

India first played a match against Sri Lanka in their backyard in 1985. In the 90’s it was a predominant Lankan domination with 68.7% of wins. In the following decade, India were on equal terms with Sri Lanka. But, in the last decade, the Lankan lions have been tamed and silenced. India have won 73.3% of the matches against Sri Lanka in their backyard. Overall, India is the only team against whom they have a win percentage of less than 50%. 

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