5 surprising ODI defeats for India against weaker opponents
Over the years, Team India has established the reputation of being one of ODI cricket's powerhouses. Not only have they won 2 World Cups so far, they have also given the format some of its best players in the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli among others.
However, this does not imply that the Indians haven't had their share of lows in the ODI format. While they have lost quite a lot of matches against other teams of the same stature as them, there have been some infamous occasions when India ended up succumbing to weaker opposition teams.
Let's take a look at some of India's surprising defeats against lesser teams:
5. Losing to Sri Lanka at Old Trafford in the 1979 World Cup
India were certainly not among the favourites in the 1979 World Cup; however, they still boasted of a formidable team which included players like Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Gundappa Vishwanath and Bishan Singh Bedi. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, enjoyed the status of minnows at that point and no one expected them to win.
After winning the toss at Old Trafford, India decided to field first in the hope to put pressure on the opponent batsmen. Led by half-centuries from Roy Dias, Sunil Wettimuny and Duleep Mendis, the Sri Lankans scored 238 for 5 in their allotted 60 overs. All-rounder Mohinder Amarnath starred for India with the ball as he picked up 3 wickets.
In reply, the Indians started strongly with openers Gavaskar and Anshuman Gaekwad added 60 runs for the first wicket. Dilip Vengsarkar held fort for India as the wickets fell at regular intervals with a resolute 36 but his dismissal triggered a batting collapse which saw the team lose their last 6 wickets for just 44 runs.
Sri Lanka won the first ever ODI between them and their closest neighbours by 47 runs, leaving the cricketing world shell-shocked.