India loss
Indian players walk back to the pavilion after the loss to Sri Lanka, which has virtually knocked the defending champions out of the DP World Asia Cup. Only a slim mathematical chance remains. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: The Indian fans are feeling down after yet another narrow loss, this time to Sri Lanka, in the DP World Asia Cup at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday. In reality, the Men in Blue have very little chance of making the final, but Rohit Sharma’s men still have a wafer-thin mathematical chance of making it. For that, India need to beat Afghanistan.

Here are the few scenarios of how India could make the final:

Scenario 1:

Pakistan vs Afghanistan: In today’s (Wednesday) meeting at the Sharjah Stadium, Afghanistan must beat Pakistan, which will give the first points to Afghanistan, move them to the third position, and India at the bottom of the table at No 4. Afghanistan’s net run rate is relatively low, so they have a big task on hand to improve it as well. But if Pakistan win, it’s all over as both Sri Lanka and Pakistan will play the final, irrespective of the other results.

Scenario 2 (applies only if Afghanistan beat Pakistan):

India vs Afghanistan: Thursday’s game in Dubai will be a big test for Afghanistan as they are playing back-to-back games, that too against two giants like Pakistan and India. This match will be essential for India to win and win it big to ensure that Afghanistan’s run rate is low. They also need to improve their run rate so that the Men in Blue can sneak through if all teams finish level on points. But India have failed to live up to the expectations after a narrow win in the opener against Pakistan. After two wins in Group A, India have lost both their Super 4 clashes. The two main reasons for their loss are: toss — after losing the toss, India had to bat first on the pitch, which gives a little assistance to the bowlers while it gets slightly better under lights while chasing, and middle-order batting — India have floundered in the middle order and have been losing wickets in heaps due to the aggressive approach that they have been adopting and in the process have lost too many wickets. That has stopped them from maintaining the scoring tempo, and they have finished about 10-15 runs short, which has cost both the matches. Should Afghanistan win their second match, they will be closer to qualification for the final with two wins.

Scenario 3 (applies only if India win and Afghanistan lose):

Pakistan vs Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka need to beat Pakistan by a good margin, which means they would have won all three games and finish on top of the Super 4 table. And a loss to Sri Lanka means Pakistan, India and Afghanistan finish with one point each and the team with the superior run rate will be able to book a place in Sunday’s final.

Scenario 4 (applies only if Afghanistan win against both Pakistan and India):

Pakistan vs Sri Lanka: If Pakistan beat Sri Lanka in the final game of the Super 4 on Friday, after losing to Afghanistan, all three teams will be level on points with two wins each, which means the run rate will determine the two finalists.