The Indian cricket team acquired their Test status on June 25, 1932 by played their first-ever Test match against England. Additionally, in 1974, India played their first-ever ODI against the same opponents. Through the 1975 World Cup, Team India made its World Cup debut all the while when players were still getting accustomed to the ODI format of the game. Their win at the 1983 World Cup under the leadership of Kapil Dev changed Indian cricket for the good as it spawned an entire generation of talented youngsters to take up the sport in the country.
Before India became the powerhouse of ODI cricket, the team apparently did not fare well during its initial years. Moreover, India even suffered a defeat at the hands of a non-Test playing nation just a few years before they were crowned as World Champions in 1983. As a result, here is a look at the answer for ‘Which was the first non-Test playing nation to beat India in an international match?’
India faced Sri Lanka in their third Group B match at the 1979 Cricket World Cup at Old Trafford, Manchester. Before the match, the Srinivas Venkataraghavan-led side were considered as firm favourites to defeat Sri Lanka, as the island nation were yet to be granted the Test playing status by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Moreover, Team India comprised of veterans of the game in the form of Sunil Gavaskar, Bishen Singh Bedi, Dilip Vengsarkar, Gundappa Viswanath and future captain Kapil Dev.
Defying all odds, Sri Lanka defeated India by 47 runs in a one-sided affair at Manchester. Batting first, Sri Lanka scored 238-5 off their 60 overs on the back of clinical half-centuries by Sunil Wettimuny, Roy Dias and Duleep Mendis. India in reply were folded out for 191 in 54.1 overs. Kapil Dev, who conceded 1-53 off his 12 overs, could score only 16 with the bat in hand. Meanwhile, the premier Indian batsman at the time, Sunil Gavaskar also failed to get going as he lost his wicket at 26.
Sri Lanka’s 47-run win placed them above India in Group B of the 1979 World Cup. While their win was not enough to advance them to the knockout stage, it is highly considered as a memorable win in Sri Lankan cricket history. Sri Lanka’s victory over India at Manchester was their first-ever win in a World Cup match. They previously lost all their matches at the 1975 event and their earlier match to New Zealand in 1979 itself. Sri Lanka’s ODI record gradually improved and their best World Cup performance came at the 1996 event when they defeated Australia in the final.