Editor’s note: This article will be updated through the remainder of Group 2 Super 12 stage at the World Cup depending on how the scenarios play out.

It never is a good sign when the Net Run Rate calculators are out early in a tournament for a team. Such had been India’s nightmare start to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 that thing looked bleak just after two matches.

Virat Kohli and Co were on the brink of an early exit, prompting the wrong kind of throwback to 2007 for Indian cricket team fans. Instead of another triumph to celebrate, it seemed a World Cup will enter its business end without the game’s global powerhouse.

A win against Afghanistan kept India alive and the win against Scotland made things as good as they could possibly be. But their fate is still not in their control.

First things first, here’s how the Group 2 Super 12 table looks like (after India vs Scotland):

Group 2, Super 12 after IND vs SCO

 PAKISTAN 4 4 0 +1.065 8
 NEW ZEALAND 4 3 1 +1.277 6
 INDIA 4 2 2 +1.619 4
 AFGHANISTAN 4 2 2 +1.481 4
 NAMIBIA 4 1 3 -1.851 2
 SCOTLAND 4 0 4 -3.494 0

Remaining matches in Group 2: 

7 Nov: New Zealand v Afghanistan, Abu Dhabi (1530 hrs): Pakistan v Scotland, Sharjah (1930 hrs)

8 Nov: India v Namibia, Dubai (1930 hrs)


With four wins from four, Pakistan became the first team in the tournament to officially qualify for the semifinals. One other team can reach 8 points in this group (NZ), so Pakistan would still want to top the table by topping the group outright and avoid England in the semifinal.


Thanks to their penchant for batting first and winning big, Afghanistan had a sensational NRR of +3.097 after their two big wins and one close defeat against Pakistan.

Problem for Mohammad Nabi and Co of course, was that they face New Zealand and India in the last two matches, which were, on paper, tough games. And after a big defeat against Kohli and Co, the NRR came down from +3.097 to +1.481 (of course, at one point it looked like it could be worse for them).

Afghanistan’s match against New Zealand is now must-win for both sides. Lose against NZ and Afghanistan’s tournament is over. Problem now is also that India’s massive wins have taken their NRR past Afghanistan and that makes things harder.

Afghanistan’s best cast scenario of six points (and a three-way tie) now also needs to come with a NRR boost which is not going to be easy against New Zealand. As it is, winning against NZ is going to be hard but for instance, if Afghanistan bat first and score 160, they need to keep NZ to 116 to have their NRR go past India. Only then, they can hope Namibia run India close.

In a weird roundabout way, India might have made their own case harder by making things tough for Afghanistan.

EQUATION UPDATE: Afghanistan have to restrict New Zealand for 81 to go 0.0005 past India’s Net Run Rate (and then hope Namibia beat India). They need to restrict NZ for much lesser if they want any breathing room.

New Zealand

The Black Caps have everything under control. They couldn’t overhaul Afghanistan’s NRR against Namibia but Kane Williamson and Co will be on their way to the business end of yet another ICC event if they just win against Afghanistan. They don’t have to care about NRR at all.

The match on November 7 between New Zealand and Afghanistan is also a must-win for Kiwis, as they cannot progress with a defeat since, at least, Afghanistan’s NRR will be better than theirs.

Should they then lose to Afghanistan on the final day, the three-way tie is possible which is now massively in favour of India.


Right then, how does it look for India? The pieces are falling into place one by one.

First up, a big win against Afghanistan was the need of the hour for India and their NRR went from -1.609 to 0.073. And then, with another huge win against Scotland, India have all but shut the NRR door on this group. By improving from +0.073 to +1.619, India’s NRR zoomed past Afghanistan and New Zealand.

India will have to hope for a three-way tie on six points with New Zealand and Afghanistan. That will happen only if Afghanistan beat New Zealand. And then depending on the margin of Afghanistan’s win, India will have a clear equation for beating Namibia.

But, as mentioned earlier, India’s big win against Scotland has made life harder for Afghanistan and now they can’t be content with a close win against New Zealand. Whether that plays into New Zealand’s hands, remains to be seen.

India won’t really have to worry too much about NRR on the final day, as the tweet below shows.

So, to recap, India had to: beat Afghanistan comprehensively (check), trounce Scotland (check), hope New Zealand lose to Afghanistan and also keep their NRR manageable.... and if all that happens, on the final day of group stage action in Super 12, know what the equation is for them to defeat Namibia.

It is now down to the last couple of steps there.

Scotland, Namibia

Both are out of the tournament but can still throw in a spanner in the works for Pakistan and India.