5 Embarrassing Defeats for India in ODI World Cup History 

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India will host the 2023 ODI World Cup. As the host team, India are definitely fan favorites and can’t afford to lose a single match. 

Even if they do, they at least can’t afford to lose like they did in these five matches, which we are sure, as Indian fans, you wouldn’t like to look back on.

In fact, in this article, we will take a look at India’s five most embarrassing defeats in ODI World Cup history.

Indian Team’s Five Embarrassing Defeats In ODI World Cups

We will begin our list with India’s loss to Sri Lanka in the ODI World Cup 2007, which knocked them out of the tournament in the first round itself.

We then move to India’s loss to Sri Lanka in the 1996 ODI World Cup semi-final at Eden Gardens, which triggered a riot in the stadium.

The third match on our list is India vs. Zimbabwe from the 1999 ODI World Cup.

India’s loss to Sri Lanka from the 1979 ODI World Cup is the fourth match, and this is followed by our last match in the list, which was India’s defeat to Bangladesh from the 2007 ODI World Cup.

Here’s the complete list:

  1. Loss to Sri Lanka in the ODI World Cup 2007.
  2. Loss to Sri Lanka in the ODI World Cup 1996
  3. Loss to Zimbabwe in the 1999 ODI World Cup
  4. Loss to Sri Lanka in the ODI World Cup 1979
  5. Loss to Bangladesh in the ODI World Cup 2007

Summary of 5 Embarrasing Defeats for India in ODI World Cup History

The list is not in ascending or descending order in terms of year, but it is purely based on the match conditions and impact. 

India’s Loss to Sri Lanka in 2007 ODI World Cup:

India had already lost to Bangladesh in the tournament opener, which placed Rahul Dravid and his side in a do-or-die situation.

They beat Bermuda, and losing this match against Sri Lanka meant they would be knocked out.

  • At Port of Spain, Trinidad, India fielded first against Sri Lanka, who set a target of 255.
  • In reply, India lost the wickets of Robin Uthappa and Sourav Ganguly early. Sachin Tendulkar was out for a duck, and only Rahul Dravid hung on with 60 runs.
  • Eventually, India were bowled out for 185, losing the match by 69 runs and crashing out of the World Cup.

India’s Loss to Sri Lanka in 1996 ODI World Cup:

Another embarrassing defeat came against the same opposition at Eden Gardens in the 1996 ODI World Cup semi-final.

  • India had Sri Lanka on the mat, with the score reading 3/35. But they would recover, finishing the total at 251/8.
  • In chase, India got the shock of their lives as the pitch started turning square.
  • Wickets started to fall, and only Sachin Tendulkar (65) was the only one to resist.
  • With the score reading 120/8, India’s chances of winning the trophy evaporated quickly, and the crowd started to lose it.
  • They started throwing stones, which forced the match to be suspended, and India had to forfeit the game.
  • The situation spiraled out of control, and people even set fire to public property.

India’s Loss to Zimbabwe (ODI World Cup 1999):

Leicester turned out to be an unlucky place for India. Here,  the Indian fans got the shock of their lives as they lost to Zimbabwe by just 3 runs.

India had won the toss and made the controversial choice of fielding first.

  • Zimbabwe’s middle order came to the party, with Grant Flower (45) and Andy Flower (68) making an impact.
  • They would eventually post a target of 253 on a seaming track.
  • In reply, Indian openers couldn’t capitalize early, and only Sadagopan Ramesh hung on even as big names like Sourav Ganguly (9), Rahul Dravid (13), and Mohammed Azharuddin (13) departed.
  • Ajay Jadeja (43) and Robin Singh (35) tried their best with a 44-run stand for the 7th wicket, but it was way too late, and India fell short by 3 runs.

India’s Loss to Sri Lanka (ODI World Cup 1979):

Back in the day, Sri Lanka were the minnows. In fact, they were the Associate Nation, and yet they managed to beat India, which had big names like Sunil Gavaskar, S Venkatraghvan, Dilip Vengsarkar, etc.

  • Both teams were on their way out after losing both of their group games and were playing for pride.
  • But here, Sri Lanka edged India with fearless cricket.
  • India had won the toss and opted to field first, which was defensive, to say the least.
  • On the other hand, Sri Lanka played aggressively. The likes of Roy Dias, Duleep Mendis, and Sunil Wettimuny all scored fifties.
  • Eventually, Sri Lanka would post a total of 238/5.
  • In reply, the Indian top order was slow, eating up balls. Eventually the pressure got to them, and they were bundled out for 191, losing the match by 47 runs.

India’s Loss to Bangladesh (ODI World Cup 2007):

In one of the most embarrassing defeats in ODI World Cup history, India lost to Bangladesh by nine wickets in their opening World Cup match.

  • At Port of Spain, Trinidad, India won the toss and opted to bat first.
  • Except for Sourav Ganguly (66), the rest of the Indian top order was blown away by Mashrafe Mortaza’s seam and swing.
  • India were 158-6 at one stage, and no batter stood up to the challenge as they were all out for 191.
  • In reply, Bangladesh did lose five wickets but were able to chase down the total with nine balls remaining.

Final Thoughts

These were some of the most embarrassing defeats for India. Interestingly, of the five matches that we have cited, three came against Sri Lanka.

These defeats still remain painful, as India lost the matches despite being the clear favorites.

The 1996 ODI World Cup semi-final saw riots, while the 2007 ODI World Cup loss to Sri Lanka saw a man die of a heart attack.

We hope Indian cricket fans have a great time watching the ODI World Cup, as early losses wouldn’t augur well for the team or the brand of Team India.

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FAQ

India’s loss to South Africa by 215 runs in 2015 was their biggest-ever loss in ODIs.

India’s loss to Sri Lanka in the 2007 ODI World Cup knocked them out of the World Cup.

India has won the trophy twice.