After a fantastic start to their Asia Cup 2022 journey, which saw them winning both of their group stage matches against Pakistan and Hong Kong, the Indian team crumbled like a house of cards in the Super Four stage.
They suffered a five-wicket defeat in their first match against Pakistan, and then were handed a six-wicket loss by Sri Lanka in their previous fixture. With these two defeats, Rohit Sharma's men are standing on the brink of elimination from the competition.
India are currently third on the points table, with no points to their name and a net run rate of -0.125. Sri Lanka are occupying the pole position with four points, whilst the second place currently belongs to Pakistan.
India's chances of making it to the final after two straight defeats are slim, but there still is a glimmer of hope. If all the permutations and combinations work in their favour, the men in blue can still qualify for the final. But for that to happen, India will need other teams to do them a big favour.
India’s Qualification Criteria
Currently, three matches are left to be played in the Super Four stage. Let us have a match-by-match analysis of what the result should be, for India to remain in the hunt.
7 September: Pakistan vs Afghanistan - Afghanistan Win
Even if India win their remaining match, they will finish with two points. Since Sri Lanka have already secured four points and Pakistan have two points already in their account, a win for Babar Azam's men against Afghanistan will mean curtains for the Indian team. Hence, Afghanistan must beat the green shirts if India are to remain alive in the competition.
8 September: India vs Afghanistan - India Win
India will first need Afghanistan to help them out by beating Pakistan, and if Mohammad Nabi's men are successful in doing so, the men in blue will then need to beat the Afghans in their last match of the Super Four stage.
9 September: Sri Lanka vs Pakistan - Sri Lanka Win
The last Super Four match of Asia Cup 2022 will see Sri Lanka take on Pakistan. If the previous two results work out in India's favour and Rohit's boys remain in contention for a place in the final till 9 September, they will need Sri Lanka to beat Pakistan in this fixture.
The Net Run Rate Scenario
If all three outcomes fulfil India's qualification criteria, Sri Lanka will be assured a place in the final with six points, while India, Pakistan and Afghanistan will all be tied on two points.
In such a scenario, the second finalist will be decided on the basis of net run rate. While everything that could have gone wrong, has gone wrong for India in the Super Four, their net run rate is much better as compared to Afghanistan. Hence, this particular aspect can favour India, if at all the prerequisites are met.