Two defeats from two leaves India trailing Pakistan, Afghanistan, New Zealand and Namibia in Group 2 of the Super 12 at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.
The qualification conundrum in Group 2 of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 took a turn on Sunday with New Zealand’s eight-wicket win over India. The result means that India, one of the pre-tournament favourites to take the title, are facing an uphill battle to make it out of the Super 12 stage.
Still without a point after losses to Pakistan and New Zealand, Virat Kohli’s side will now most likely need to win their three remaining fixtures while also hoping that other results and the net run rate equation goes their way.
“I don’t think we were brave enough with bat or ball,” Kohli said after the defeat to New Zealand.
“We didn’t have much to defend but we weren’t brave when we walked out to field. When you play for the Indian cricket team you have a lot of expectations – not just from fans, but players as well,” Kohli added.
“So there’s always going to be more pressure with our games and we’ve embraced it over the years. Everyone who plays for India has to embrace it. And when you cope together as a team you overcome it and we haven’t done it these two games.”
“Just because you’re the Indian team and there are expectations doesn’t mean you start playing differently. I think we’re fine, there’s a lot of cricket left to play.”
India’s remaining fixtures
- India v Afghanistan, Abu Dhabi – Wednesday 3 November
- India v Scotland, Dubai – Friday 5 November
- India v Namibia, Dubai – Monday 8 November
The net run rate factor
India’s lowly net run rate of -1.609 means they will either have to finish points clear of their rivals for qualification or hope for big margins of victory in the back-end of the tournament to turn that NRR on its head.
The difficulty for India is that Afghanistan, who currently have four points to their name, hammered Scotland to such an extent that it’ll take a big change for India to overhaul their +3.097 NRR – currently the second-best at the tournament behind in-form England.
The crunch Afghanistan fixture
Lose to Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday and India’s chances of making it out of Group 2 will be over. But Ravi Shastri’s squad will not only be targeting a win, but also a big one in order to redress some of the NRR balance in the group.
India will probably then be hoping for a narrow Afghanistan win over New Zealand to take the qualification down to net run rate.
Hoping for an upset
The best chance for India to make it out of the group is for one of the Group 2 qualifiers, Namibia and Scotland, to pull off an upset against New Zealand. Both teams showed their class when making it through Round 1, but have yet to trouble the Test-playing nations during the Super 12 stage.
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