As it stands, India are in pole position to qualify for the semi-finals, but there is still a possibility they could be knocked out in the group stages.
Had India slipped to a shock defeat to Bangladesh, they would have been in danger of T20 World Cup elimination, needing to rely on Pakistan to do them a favour. A last-gasp victory has eased their task, but they still have work to do.
While both Bangladesh and Pakistan are capable of equalling India’s current tally of six points, it’s the latter who are the greatest threat. Bangladesh’s current net run rate is poor, with a swing of over 150 runs across both games needed for their NRR to overtake India’s. As an example, if India make 125 in pursuit of 200 v Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh defend 200 by the same margin against Pakistan, their net run rate would still be marginally below India’s.
Similarly, if Bangladesh chase 160 with nine overs to spare against Pakistan, and Zimbabwe chase 160 with nine overs to spare against India, Bangladesh’s NRR would still be behind India’s.
So although Pakistan need two wins to make it to six points, compared to Bangladesh who have only one game left to play, their current NRR of 0.765, marginally ahead of India’s, makes them the biggest danger. And in fact, they only need a small pair of wins to leave India needing a victory over Zimbabwe, rather than being able to sneak through with a narrow defeat.
In the case of a defeat by one run in a full 20-over game, the highest India’s NRR can be is 0.573. If Pakistan make 165 and 164 against South Africa and Bangladesh and keep each of their opponents to 160, their NRR would be 0.578, out of range of India’s in the case of a Zimbabwe win.
In the case of rain, any washouts would help India’s cause. A washout in the South Africa-Pakistan game would knock Pakistan out, and a washout in the Bangladesh-Pakistan game would knock both sides out, while a washout in India-Zimbabwe would see India progress.
The equation for India is simple: avoid defeat and they are through. And if South Africa beat Pakistan, the equation is even simpler, with anything but a pair of thrashings by Bangladesh and Zimbabwe seeing them progress.
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