Ultimately a fine fighting half-century from MS Dhoni helped the hosts prevent an utter humiliation as India ended up with 112 runs after being put into bat by Sri Lanka skipper Thisara Perera.
Here, we look at the lowest totals registered by India in their ODI history after batting first.
AGAINST BANGLADESH, MIRPUR 2014
This innings came during India’s tour of Bangladesh in 2014 as the visitors rested their big guns. Suresh Raina led the revamped Indian side in the series and his innings of 27 in the second ODI in Mirpur turned out to be more vital than he would have thought.
India were all-out for just 105 as Bangladesh pacer Taskin Ahmed picked up a five-wicket haul. Raina’s 27 would remain India’s top score. Amazingly though, the hosts ended up on the losing side as they were shot out for just 58 runs after an astonishing spell by Stuart Binny who picked up six wickets in five overs giving away only four runs.
This is the only time India have successfully defended a total less than the 112 they put up on Sunday.
AGAINST SRI LANKA, DAMBULLA 2010
This score came in a tri-series involving Sri Lanka, India and New Zealand in August, 2010. Led by MS Dhoni, India were bundled out for just 103 runs after electing to bat first at Dambulla.
Sri Lanka’s current ODI skipper Thisara Perera was the wrecker-in-chief as he tore through the Indian top order. The all-rounder picked five wickets giving away just 28 runs in a fiery spell to as Dhoni’s men were condemned to an eight-wicket defeat. Yuvraj Singh top-scored for India with 38.
AGAINST AUSTRALIA, SYDNEY 2000
This total came in another tri-nations series involving Australia, India and Pakistan. In a match against the hosts at Sydney, India skipper Sachin Tendulkar won the toss and elected to bat first. He would use that decision as legendary Aussie pacer Glenn McGrath put on an exhibition of swing and seam bowling.
McGrath picked up four wickets in 10 overs, giving away only eight runs in the process along with four maiden overs. Only Rahul Dravid crossed the 20-run mark for India with 22 runs as the visitors were handed a five-wicket defeat.
AGAINST PAKISTAN, SIALKOT 1978
India and Pakistan had not played a cricket match against each other for a 17-year-old period starting from 1961 before the historic series in the latter’s backyard in 1978. Led by spin legend Bishan Singh Bedi, India were bundled out for just 79 runs in the second ODI at Sialkot.
Only one Indian batsman crossed double figures with Mohinder Amarnath remaining unbeaten with a 34-run knock as the likes of Hasan Jamil, Sikandar Bakht and Saleem Altaf ran through the visitors’ batting line-up. The hosts would then run away with the match, galloping to a comfortable eight-wicket victory.
AGAINST AUSTRALIA, SYDNEY 1981
Sydney features once again in the list for the Indians and this embarrassing total came during the Benson and Hedges World Series Cup down under. Led by the iconic Sunil Gavaskar, India were on the receiving end of a fine bowling effort from the hosts in the ninth match of the tournament.
Greg Chappell, who would later go on to coach India, was the man-of-the-match as he finished with figures of 5-15. Gundappa Vishwanath was the highest scorer for the visitors with a 23-run knock as Australia cantered to a nine-wicket victory.
The Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) got underway on Saturday and the opening day made for some exhilarating cricket.
Sydney Sixers Women took on the Melbourne Stars Women in the opening match of the WBBL at the North Sydney Oval and records were sent tumbling down in the high scoring clash.
Led by star Australia player Ellyse Perry, the Sixers set a record total of 242-4 batting first in their 20 overs.
The 242 put on by Perry’s side is the highest ever score in the history of both the WBBL and its men’s counterpart BBL.
The previous high score in the WBBL was also set on Saturday itself in the opening match when Sydney Thunder Women put up 200 on the board against Melbourne Renegades Women.
The highest score in the BBL meanwhile is the 223 runs set by Hobart Hurricanes.
Perry herself was in smashing form on Saturday as she put up an unbeaten 91 off just 49 deliveries after opening the innings for the Sixers.
However, it was 20-year-old Ashleigh Gardner who took all the plaudits for a super maiden T20 ton. Gardner hit 10 massive sixes and nine boundaries in her 52-ball 114.
Perry and Gardner put on a 150-run stand for the second wicket with the latter doing the bulk of the scoring with 114 runs.
The former however let loose with four sixes of her own after the departure of Gardner as the Sixers ended up with 242-4.
In reply, the Melbourne Stars were restricted to 156-7 in their 20 overs to hand the Sixers a massive 86-run victory in their opening match.
After a Test series overshadowed by controversies relating to pollution levels in Delhi, India and Sri Lanka will switch attentions to the three-match ODI series beginning with the first game at Dharamshala on Sunday.
The hosts overcome the visitors by 1-0 in the three-match Test series and will be looking to continue that dominance in the limited-overs formats.
Ahead of the opener at the picturesque venue of Dharamshala, we look at the key talking points.
ROHIT TAKES CHARGE OF VIRAT-LESS INDIA
The Mumbai man loves playing against Sri Lanka with four one-day tons and five fifties against them in the 50-over format. The last time the visitors were in India for an ODI series in 2013, Sharma registered his world-record score of 264 run in the fourth match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
The right-handed opener will relish the opportunity to have a go at them once again, this time as skipper.
AJINKYA RAHANE’S CHANCE TO GET SOME FORM
The Test series was a highly forgettable one for Rahane where he scored just 17 runs in five innings. Much has been said about the woeful form of a batsman who is expected to be crucial to India’s chances in the upcoming tough tour of South Africa.
Not really a mainstay in limited-overs setup with Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul a permanent fixture in the opening slot, Rahane could be afforded a chance at number three in the absence of Kohli.
India have other options in the form of Shreyas Iyer but the team management will surely be looking to get Rahane back into form before they depart for South Africa.
SRI LANKA’S LOSING STREAK
The islanders have had one of the worst calendar years in the limited-overs format in 2017. They were handsomely thrashed 5-0 when India toured Sri Lanka a few months earlier but that has not been their only humbling.
They have been on the receiving end of three 5-0 whitewashes this year with their most recent one coming against Pakistan in the UAE.
They come into Sunday’s match on the back of a 12-match losing streak and skipper Thisara Perera will have his hands full in trying to prevent another humbling.
INDIA’S CHANCE TO BECOME NO.1
India currently sits in second spot in the ICC ODI men’s team rankings, behind leaders South Africa. Both the teams have a rating of 120 but the Men in Blue lag seven points behind the Proteas’ 6, 386 points.
If the hosts want to climb to the top of the summit, they will need to clean-sweep the series by 3-0.
India hold the No1 rating in the Test format and to hold the crown in two different formats simultaneously would surely be something to savour.