T20 World Cup: How India can still qualify for semi-finals

After two games and two heartbreaking defeats, the Indian cricket team, regarded as one of the most difficult to beat in international cricket, has been humbled in the first two matches of the ICC T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. The Men in Blue are facing an early exit after losing by 10 wickets to Pakistan and then by 8 wickets to their perennial bogey team in ICC competitions, the New Zealanders.

They still have three matches left to play, but Pakistan are the clear favourites to win Group 2 and advance to the next round, followed by either New Zealand or Afghanistan. However, India has not yet been mathematically eliminated. Of course, India’s progress to the next round would require a miracle, but the permutations and combinations are keeping them alive.

Here’s a fast and simple look at how India, the 2007 champs, may yet make it to the semi-finals –

We begin by assuming that Pakistan, India, and New Zealand had all defeated Scotland and Namibia. If the foregoing occurs, Pakistan will win the group with ten points and advance to the semi-finals. The competition then narrows down to three teams: India, New Zealand, and Afghanistan vying for the final berth. India will be eliminated from the race if they lose to Afghanistan. The winner of the game between New Zealand and Afghanistan advances to the second semi-final from Group 2.

If India defeats Afghanistan, they will end up with six points. Afghanistan must defeat New Zealand in this scenario for India to have a chance. If Afghanistan defeats New Zealand and India defeats Afghanistan, all three teams (India, New Zealand, and Afghanistan) will be tied for first place with six points. In that case, it will come down to NRR, and India would need to win large against the underdogs (Namibia and Scotland), as well as hopefully Afghanistan, to go to the semi-finals.

However, as things stand, Virat Kohli and his team are facing an early exit from the World Cup.