What had been a nightmare of a start for the Indian cricket team in the T20 World Cup has mellowed after two fantastic victories. Against both Afghanistan and Scotland, the Men in Blue looked like wounded beasts and they made sure to pounce on their opponents. The fact that the wins have come in a thumping fashion – by 66 runs and eight wickets respectively – has certainly helped India's cause in the Group 2 table.
But will it be enough for the team to progress to the semi-finals? As things stand in Group 2 of the Super 12 stage (with one match remaining for each team), India are third in the group behind Pakistan and New Zealand. Behind them is Afghanistan. Pakistan are on eight points and have already qualified for the semis. New Zealand who are on six points and India and Afghanistan, on four points each, are in contention for the coveted second spot in the table.
For their final matches in the group two of the contenders - New Zealand and Afghanistan - will face each other, while Team India will be up against an easier opponent in Namibia. For India to go through to the semis, Afghanistan will have to defeat the Black Caps in their last match. However, they need to do it with a margin not big enough to take them past India in the table.
At the moment, India have the advantage with an NRR of +1.619 following the two spectacular victories against Afghanistan and Scotland. Afghanistan are behind India with an NRR of +1.481.
Although New Zealand will be the favourites against Afghanistan in the next match, the entire country of India will be cheering for the latter. However, the win cannot come for Afghanistan at a rapid pace or by a convincing margin. In that case, they will be the ones making it through the group instead of India. However, New Zealand's defeat is needed at any cost.
In the case that the Kiwis do end up getting beaten, India will be the favourites to go through since their game against Namibia happens the next day. By that point, they will be aware of how big a margin of victory to secure to get ahead of Afghanistan on the basis of NRR.
Chances of going through continue to look slim for the Men in Blue since their fate is not in their hands anymore. On Sunday, the entire nation will be cheering for Afghanistan. Time will tell whether the T20 World Cup has any dramatic twist and turn in store us on the final day of the group stage.