Despite making it six wins out of six matches, India have not yet confirmed their semifinals spot. Thanks to the format in which each team plays each other in the group stage, a long list of fixtures and a crowded mid-table means even England – who occupy the last spot with just 2 points and three matches to play – are in with a remote chance of making the last four.
As the World Cup enters its business end, here is how each team is placed in the race for the semifinals.
What is the magic number?
A tally of 14 points is needed to be fully assured of a spot. Even 12 can get you in, but it would take a bit of help. India, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia have their fates in their own hands to make it to the semifinals.
India Matches: 6; Points: 12
For India, winning one of their remaining three matches will guarantee a spot in the semifinals because no team outside the top 4 would be able to match their tally of 14 points. Even if they lose all three matches, they can still make it provided Afghanistan – which has a chance of ending up on 12 points – don’t overtake them on net run rate (NRR).
South Africa Matches: 6; Points: 10
With fixtures against New Zealand, Afghanistan and India left, South Africa need two more wins to seal their spot in the last 4. Even one more win can get them there, provided teams in 5th-8th spots in the points table lose their remaining matches. If they lose all three, the Proteas can even crash out.
New Zealand Matches: 6; Points: 8
Two successive defeats have pegged them back, but if they win two of their remaining three matches against South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, they can go through. If they lose two of those, especially against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, they will be in a spot of bother. A win in one of them may just get the job done for them.
Australia Matches: 6; Points: 8
Like New Zealand, they need to win at least two more matches to make it. And among the top four, they have arguably the easiest games lined up with England, Afghanistan and Bangladesh being their next opponents. A win against their arch rivals will also end England’s campaign. If the Aussies win only one of the three games, it would come down to NRR as 10 points will not be enough by itself.
What about the others?
Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and even the Netherlands are still with a chance to make it to the top 4. If Afghanistan win all three of their remaining matches and end up with 12 points, they will be in with a definite chance. Even Sri Lanka and Pakistan, if they win their three matches, can end up with 10 points and so can the Netherlands.
In the most complicated scenario possible, if Australia and New Zealand win only one match from here on, Pakistan and Sri Lanka win all three, Afghanistan two of their three, and South Africa lose all three, 6 teams can end up with 10 points.