By: Immad u Din
It is not the first time cricket fans of India have taken out their calculators to figure out the possibilities and permutations in the cricket season. The Indian cricket team is anxiously waiting for the upcoming matches as Virat Kohli’s men are at the brink of an early exit in the T20 World Cup 2021. Expected as one of the favorites before the tournament started, India has not managed to look like a championship team. The cricket fans of the Indian team had to face a lot of sadness and distress at the very beginning of the thrilling series. The body language, mental strength, and motivation have come to question after the two disappointing defeats.
The Horrific Start
Things didn’t go the way the Indian cricket team and fans had thought before the tournament. The horrific start for the Indian team began when it lost its match against Pakistan by ten wickets. Pakistan won after a long time against India in a World Cup match by chasing a target of 152 runs without losing any wicket and with 13 balls left. But there was more to come in the near future. A week’s break did no good for India, and it lost its second match by eight wickets against New Zealand. India made 110 runs in 20 overs without a boundary for continuous 70 balls. New Zealand completed the target in 14.3 overs.
Both these demoralizing defeats saw India’s net run rate take a nosedive, and their chance of reaching the semi-finals looked quite bleak at that moment. After the successive defeats leaving India in the bottom half in their group’s point table, their tournament chances are not technically over yet. India still has a chance to reach the semi-final if it quickly gets back in form and the results of other teams’ tournaments are in their favor. India can make a maximum of 6 points, and Afghanistan or New Zealand will also reach 6 points. At this point, improving the team’s performance and regaining the team’s confidence and morale was equally crucial for Virat. Somehow, he managed it, and things started to get better.
India’s Comeback in the Tournament
India made a comeback in the tournament, and after defeating Afghanistan by 66 rums, India stabilized its position to some extent after back-to-back defeats against New Zealand and Pakistan.
The 66-run win over Afghanistan and an eight-wicket win over Scotland in 6.3 overs have brought the Indian team back to hope of qualifying for the T20 World Cup semi-finals. The Indian fans regained energy and enthusiasm. Now they are looking forward to the best for their team. Despite being in the best possible position, they are still not able to rely on their own team’s success. The fate of Virat Kohli and company are not in their hands. Their final hope rests on the clash on Sunday, with the outcome of Afghanistan vs. New Zealand match.
The Rumors About the India vs. Afghanistan Match
Rumors and a conspiracy theory about this match spread that this match was fixed when the toss video went viral. The Afghan captain told his decision to bowl first to his counterpart before officially announcing it. Cricket experts say that it is normal to inform your counterpart about your decision and that there is nothing wrong with it. They say doing this is not evidence of match-fixing.
Every Indian cricket fan now thinks about how India can be the second team to qualify for the semi-finals and how the success and defeats of other teams can affect the eligibility of India to qualify for the semi-finals if it wins its match.
The following scenarios are the hopes for the Indian team to reach the semi-finals.
Afghanistan must defeat New Zealand on Sunday 7th November for India to have better chances to enter the semi-finals. Indians are Afghanistan’s close friends, and in this match, the Indians will be supporting Mohammad Nabi and his team. Hoping for the spin of Rashid Khan and Mujeeb ur Rehman to do the best, the Afghan’s victory will be a good sign for the Indian team. A victory for New Zealand will be the worst possible result for India. The smaller the margin with which Afghanistan defeats New Zealand, the better it is for India.
Afghanistan’s net run rate will end up at 1.172, even at a very close win margin like nine or fewer runs. India at 1.619 must win their remaining games by 60 + runs, bringing their net run rate greater than the Afghanistan team. Afghanistan will rely on Namibia to upset India to hamper their net run rate to qualify for the semi-finals.
Afghanistan vs. New Zealand match will be held one day before India vs. Namibia, which will make it more straightforward for India in what margin and the net run rate they require to beat Namibia.
After its victory against Scotland, India must now win its match with Namibia on 8th November with a good margin. The Indian team has managed to stay alive for the semi-finals by defeating Scotland on 5th November. The Indian team needs to win by making a run rate greater than the Afghans and the kiwis. After their victory against Scotland, India has a run rate of +1.619, which is greater than New Zealand’s +1.22 and Afghanistan’s +1.481. If India wins and New Zealand loses their next match, all three teams India, New Zealand, and Afghanistan, will have six points, and the final decisions will depend on the run rate.
It is definitely not over for Virat Kohli’s team, but the road ahead is tough to reach the goal. The team will have to win all the upcoming matches with their best performance and hope for lady luck to shine on them as well. Cricket is a pretty unpredictable game where anything could happen on the next ball. The match result keeps changing from over to over. So, it is not a sure thing to say or predict anything for the future as every possibility is there to happen.
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