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ICC T20 World Cup 2016: The various scenarios in India's quest for a semi-final berth

Indian cricket team
India will be looking for their first win of the tournament against Pakistan
Roy Dilawer
ANALYST
Modified 22 Mar 2016, 15:19 IST
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Cricket is a cruel game they say. A little bit of bad luck can end with you being on the losing side. Brilliant deliveries often get an edge and fly inches away from keeper for boundaries. Similarly, best shots straight down the pitch may end up getting your partner run out. You may do well and yet become a victim of bad umpiring. So, this is all the part and parcel of cricket. One cannot ignore or run away from this fact. 

Also read: ICC T20 WC 2016 Points table and qualification scenario, How can India qualify for Semi-Finals

For months preceding the ICC T20 World Cup, whenever someone talked about the favourites to win it, India had been their first choice; and here India are. After playing one game, India have to win all the three games to ensure a birth in the final four. Once favourites to lift the trophy are now struggling for their place in the semi-final, and they are to face their traditional rivals, Pakistan, in the crucial game today at Kolkata.

Pakistan, who produced dismal performances for last five months seemed to have got into form in the crucial time. India, having been defeated in the last game and that too comprehensively, will be under tremendous pressure as they will be fighting for their survival.

With light showers expected in the evening at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, the possibility of a wash-out, howsoever minimum, cannot be ruled out. However, for the love of cricket, we would not like to watch the most-anticipated game of this tournament end like this, and therefore, we hope the rain would not affect this game. 

In this article, we have tried to look at different possibilities and their effects on ultimate standings of the teams in the Group B. For the sake of convenience, though they qualified for Asia Cup finals, we have kept Bangladesh on losing side for all matches. No offense Bangladeshi fans- it was done only for reducing possibilities. 

If Pakistan Win Today:

Well, this is an unlikely scenario given the previous record of Pakistan against India in World Cups. However, based upon volatile nature of Pakistani team, one can expect anything, and as a matter of fact, a good majority are doing so after India’s loss to New Zealand and Pakistan’s wonderful performance with the bat against Bangladesh.

However, since we are here for assumptions, let us assume this- Pakistan wins today by any margin; let us say by 10 runs. After that, India would have lost 2 games while Pakistan would have won 2, with 2 games to be played for both teams. Pakistan after winning today’s game would require one win to reach the semi-final and that would mean India would be out of the tournament. Let us see the two scenarios in this case.

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Scenario 1: (Pakistan/New Zealand win all games)

Date:MatchVenueResult
19th March 2016 India v PakistanEden Gardens, KolkataPakistan
21st March 2016Australia v BangladeshM Chinnaswamy Stadium, BangaloreAustralia
22nd March 2016New Zealand v PakistanMohali, ChandigarhPakistan
23rd March 2016India v BangladeshM Chinnaswamy Stadium, BangaloreIndia
25th March 2016Australia v PakistanMohali, ChandigarhPakistan
26th March 2016Bangladesh v New ZealandEden Gardens, KolkataNew Zealand
27th March 2016India v AustraliaMohali, ChandigarhIndia
Points Table
TEAMSMATWONLOSTTIEDN/RPTS
Pakistan440008
New Zealand431006
India422004
Australia313002
Bangladesh404000

Well, in this scenario, either Pakistan or New Zealand depending upon who wins the head-to-head game would top the table and the other would be on number 2. India by winning both games would be on number 3, which will obviously be a disappointment.

Scenario 2: (Pakistan lose both, India win both)

Date:MatchVenueResult
19th March 2016 India v PakistanEden Gardens, KolkataPakistan
21st March 2016Australia v BangladeshM Chinnaswamy Stadium, BangaloreAustralia
22nd March 2016New Zealand v PakistanMohali, ChandigarhNew Zealand
23rd March 2016India v BangladeshM Chinnaswamy Stadium, BangaloreIndia
25th March 2016Australia v PakistanMohali, ChandigarhAustralia
26th March 2016Bangladesh v New ZealandEden Gardens, KolkataNew Zealand
27th March 2016India v AustraliaMohali, ChandigarhIndia
Points Table
TEAMSMATWONLOSTTIEDN/RPTS
New Zealand440008
Pakistan422004
Australia422004
India422004
Bangladesh404000

Well, this one is the most interesting cases. New Zealand winning all four games top the table while Pakistan, Australia and India follow them with each of them having four points each. Now the 2nd position shall be decided by net run rate.

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To improve net run rate India would have to win the last two games by a combined margin of at least 112 runs (in case they lose to Pakistan by 10 runs). In that way, their run rate would be near 0. Pakistan meanwhile would have to lose next from New Zealand by at least 55 runs.

Ultimately, India vs Australia game shall decide who goes into the semi-finals along with Kiwis from Group B.

Scenario 3: (Pakistan lose both, Australia beat India)

Date:MatchVenueResult
19th March 2016 India v PakistanEden Gardens, KolkataPakistan
21st March 2016Australia v BangladeshM Chinnaswamy Stadium, BangaloreAustralia
22nd March 2016New Zealand v PakistanMohali, ChandigarhNew Zealand
23rd March 2016India v BangladeshM Chinnaswamy Stadium, BangaloreIndia
25th March 2016Australia v PakistanMohali, ChandigarhAustralia
26th March 2016Bangladesh v New ZealandEden Gardens, KolkataNew Zealand
27th March 2016India v AustraliaMohali, ChandigarhAustralia
Points Table
TEAMSMATWONLOSTTIEDN/RPTS
New Zealand440008
Australia431006
Pakistan422004
India413002
Bangladesh404000

In this scenario, Australia having beaten both India and Pakista along with Bangladesh would qualify for the semi-finals while Pakistan and India would be ousted. So, all the 3 most probable cases have been discussed here if India lose today, that would mean that they are knocked out of the tournament. 

If Match is Washed-Out:

Chances are extremely low that the match shall be washed out by the light showers expected in the evening. However, we shall discuss this case also.

Scenario 1: (Pakistan lose both, India win both)

Date:MatchVenueResult
19th March 2016 India v PakistanEden Gardens, KolkataWashed Out
21st March 2016Australia v BangladeshM Chinnaswamy Stadium, BangaloreAustralia
22nd March 2016New Zealand v PakistanMohali, ChandigarhNew Zealand
23rd March 2016India v BangladeshM Chinnaswamy Stadium, BangaloreIndia
25th March 2016Australia v PakistanMohali, ChandigarhAustralia
26th March 2016Bangladesh v New ZealandEden Gardens, KolkataNew Zealand
27th March 2016India v AustraliaMohali, ChandigarhIndia
Points Table
TEAMSMATWONLOSTTIEDN/RPTS
New Zealand440008
India421015
Australia422004
Pakistan4121013
Bangladesh404000
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The match being a no-result game would give India and Pakistan 1 point each. Now let’s suppose Pakistan do not win a single game from the next two, and India win both, the points table would be like above. India with five points would qualify for the semi-final while Pakistan would travel back to their home.

Scenario 2: (Pakistan win one, India win both)

Date:MatchVenueResult
19th March 2016 India v PakistanEden Gardens, KolkataWashed Out
21st March 2016Australia v BangladeshM Chinnaswamy Stadium, BangaloreAustralia
22nd March 2016New Zealand v PakistanMohali, ChandigarhNew Zealand
23rd March 2016India v BangladeshM Chinnaswamy Stadium, BangaloreIndia
25th March 2016Australia v PakistanMohali, ChandigarhPakistan
26th March 2016Bangladesh v New ZealandEden Gardens, KolkataNew Zealand
27th March 2016India v AustraliaMohali, ChandigarhIndia
Points Table
TEAMSMATWONLOSTTIEDN/RPTS
New Zealand440008
Pakistan421015
India421015
Australia423002
Bangladesh404000

In this case where India are winning both of their remaining games and Pakistan winning one of them (either Australia or New Zealand), Pakistan and India would end up on the same points and will fight for a place in the semi-finals.

However, since Pakistan have a much better net run rate and wash-out not affecting the net run rate, New Zealand will have to beat Pakistan by a heavy margin and India will have to win comprehensively so that they can go past Pakistan. Let us suppose New Zealand or Australia beat Pakistan by 55 runs and Pakistan win the other by ‘x’ runs, India will have to win by a combined 48+x runs in two games to qualify.

Scenario 3: (Pakistan win both, India win both)

Date:MatchVenueResult
19th March 2016 India v PakistanEden Gardens, KolkataWashed Out
21st March 2016Australia v BangladeshM Chinnaswamy Stadium, BangaloreAustralia
22nd March 2016New Zealand v PakistanMohali, ChandigarhPakistan
23rd March 2016India v BangladeshM Chinnaswamy Stadium, BangaloreIndia
25th March 2016Australia v PakistanMohali, ChandigarhPakistan
26th March 2016Bangladesh v New ZealandEden Gardens, KolkataNew Zealand
27th March 2016India v AustraliaMohali, ChandigarhIndia
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Points Table
TEAMSMATWONLOSTTIEDN/RPTS
Pakistan430017
New Zealand431006
India421015
Australia414002
Bangladesh404000

Here Pakistan are winning both of their games. The chances of this are slim but to cover all bases, we are considering it. In this case, New Zealand and Pakistan would qualify while India and Australia would watch the rest of tournament on TV screens.

If India Win Today:

If you are a Cricket fan, you would be waiting for that ‘Mauka Mauka’ guy to appear once again on the channels. Well, India win or lose, that Mauka guy is bound to appear. However, in case India win, he is definitely coming again. So, we discuss the scenarios where he will be coming back on the channels.

Scenario 1: (India win both their games, Pakistan lose both or win one)

Date:MatchVenueResult
19th March 2016 India v PakistanEden Gardens, KolkataIndia
21st March 2016Australia v BangladeshM Chinnaswamy Stadium, BangaloreAustralia
22nd March 2016New Zealand v PakistanMohali, ChandigarhNew Zealand
23rd March 2016India v BangladeshM Chinnaswamy Stadium, BangaloreIndia
25th March 2016Australia v PakistanMohali, ChandigarhAustralia
26th March 2016Bangladesh v New ZealandEden Gardens, KolkataNew Zealand
27th March 2016India v AustraliaMohali, ChandigarhIndia
Points Table
TEAMSMATWONLOSTTIEDN/RPTS
New Zealand440008
India432006
Australia422004
Pakistan413002
Bangladesh404000

If they beat Pakistan today, India would be looking at Australia as the main hurdle to reach the semi-finals. Let us consider for a moment that India win against Bangladesh and also beat Australia, while Pakistan on the other hand lose both games, India would be through to the next round.

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Even in that case, if Pakistan beat New Zealand or Australia, it would not affect any team at all. New Zealand despite losing to Pakistan would go along with India to the semi-finals.

Scenario 2: (Pakistan and India both win last two games)

Date:MatchVenueResult
19th March 2016 India v PakistanEden Gardens, KolkataIndia
21st March 2016Australia v BangladeshM Chinnaswamy Stadium, BangaloreAustralia
22nd March 2016New Zealand v PakistanMohali, ChandigarhPakistan
23rd March 2016India v BangladeshM Chinnaswamy Stadium, BangaloreIndia
25th March 2016Australia v PakistanMohali, ChandigarhPakistan
26th March 2016Bangladesh v New ZealandEden Gardens, KolkataNew Zealand
27th March 2016India v AustraliaMohali, ChandigarhIndia
Points Table
TEAMSMATWONLOSTTIEDN/RPTS
New Zealand431006
India432006
Pakistan431006
Australia413002
Bangladesh404000

Let suppose after India beat Pakistan today, both Pakistan and India win each of their last two games. In that case, it would be interesting to see that three teams would end on 6 points.

India, New Zealand and Pakistan would be fighting each other on the basis of net run rate and two of these three teams would qualify for the next round. India need to win by a heavy margin against Pakistan. Let us suppose Pakistan and India win last two games by an equal margin, then India would have to win by 103 runs against Pakistan in today’s game. 

Conclusion:

There are many more probable results from the last seven games of this group especially when we take the value of Bangladesh’s wins to be variable. However, we have tried to present some likely possibilities into account to give an overview of where India stand amidst the group teams after defeat to New Zealand.

One can safely conclude that it is in the best interest of India to win the game today, and in case they do not or the match is washed out, they would be watching each of the remaining games of this group and praying for a desired result.

Published 19 Mar 2016, 12:22 IST
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