T20 World Cup 2021 qualification scenario: Here’s how India can still reach the semi-finals

India suffered a crushing 10-wicket defeat against arch-rivals Pakistan in their first match. The defeat also ended India’s unbeaten streak against the Men in Green in World Cup events. While the Virat Kohli-led side were expected to do better against the Kiwis, Kohli Sena once again disappointed and lost the game by eight wickets.

Pakistan are certain to qualify for the playoffs by winning their first three games. Hence, only the other team in Group 2 can engage in a knock-out with Babar Azam’s men. India’s remaining three league stage games are against Afghanistan, Namibia and Scotland. Virat Kohli’s men need to not only win these games comprehensively, but rely on other results as well.

Meanwhile, let’s see how India can still qualify for the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup 2021:

Condition 1: With India losing their first two matches, another defeat would officially kick them out of the competition. Therefore, their primary objective should be to win all three of their games and take their tally to a maximum of six points. Not to forget, India’s net run rate is -1.609, which is only better than last-placed team Scotland (-3.562).

Hence, the champions of the inaugural edition need to register a win with a huge margin to keep their hopes alive of qualifying for the next stage. While the Men in Blue will back themselves to defeat Scotland and Namibia without any trouble, they could face a bigger challenge against Afghanistan.

Condition 2: As mentioned above, India no longer has a case in its hands. Along with winning all three games brilliantly, they will also have to pray for other results to come in their favour. Since Pakistan’s place in the next stage is certain, New Zealand and Afghanistan are the biggest threats to India.

As Afghanistan have won two of their first three matches, India will have to beat the Mohammad Nabi-led side to restrict them to a maximum of six points. However, the Men in Blue also need to lose one of their remaining three matches to New Zealand. The Kiwis will play Namibia, Scotland and Afghanistan.

With Namibia and Scotland being partner teams, Afghanistan seem to be the only team that can break into New Zealand’s campaign. The two sides will face-off on November 7. If Afghanistan beat the Kane Williamson-led side, India, Afghanistan and New Zealand will be tied on six points. So, if India have the best net run rate among the three sides, they will go through it.

However, the Men in Blue will now live up to expectations and calculations. Virat Kohli’s men suffered humiliating defeats in their first two assignments in the competition and the latter have been earning criticism from various corners. While their batsmen have not been able to demonstrate resistance to the challenging wickets of the UAE, the bowlers are short of wickets.

Hence, many believe that India do not deserve to qualify for the next stage after such a disappointing performance. Notably, the champions of the inaugural season looked pretty solid in the warm-up matches, beating big teams Australia and England in a spectacular manner. Several members of the cricket fraternity supported him to achieve glory this year. However, things changed surprisingly in the Super 12 stage.