ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: Who Can Join India In The Semi-Finals?

India became the first team to qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 semi-finals, courtesy of their massive win over Sri Lanka. But, who stands to join the Men in Blue in the semis?

India vs Pakistan

India confirmed their berth in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Semi-Finals with a superb win over Sri Lanka on Thursday, November 2, 2023, in a repeat of the 2011 World Cup Final. The Men in Blue, aiming for their seventh victory in seven, set their neighbours to the south a massive target of 357 before bowling them out for a shockingly low 55. (Standings | Full Coverage)

Virat Kohli starred as usual with the bat, coming within 12 runs of equalling Sachin Tendulkar's 49 One Day Internationals centuries record in the bronzed presence of the Indian great, whose newly-minuted statue graced the sidelines of the Wankhede pitch just in time for the match. Later, Mohammed Shami continued his fine form by claiming another five-wicket-haul and becoming India's most successful ODI World Cup bowler. 

India's dominant performance helped them storm into the semis with both eyes firmly on the prize. However, with three spots still up for grabs - and plenty of teams still in contention, if only just - who can join the Men in Blue in the knockout rounds? We take a look: 


Bangladesh are the only team formally eliminated from the semi-final race. 


Despite enduring a terrible tournament, reigning champions England are somehow still in the race to qualify for the knockouts - but need nothing short of a miracle to cross the threshold from this point. First things first, the Three Lions need to win all of their remaining matches and by considerable margins to improve their net run rate; one loss and they will be out of contention. Secondly, they need either New Zealand or Australia to lose two games. Finally, they require that no more than one of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and the Netherlands finish the league stage with ten points. 


Few beyond the Dutch borders would've thought that the Netherlands would win two games at the Cricket World Cup 2023 - more than seasoned cricketing nations England and Bangladesh. Despite their heroics, the minnows need several factors to go their way if they are to sneak into the semis. The Dutch, firstly, need to win at least two of their remaining three games by good margins, while winning all three would only strengthen their claim for a berth in the semi-finals. They also need either New Zealand or Australia to lose two games. 

Sri Lanka

An almighty loss against India not only killed Sri Lanka's momentum but also proved disastrous for their net run rate. As a result, the Lions would need big wins in two of their remaining three matches to stand a chance at qualifying for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 semis. However, it may all prove pointless should neither New Zealand nor Australia drop any points. 


Winning all three of their remaining matches would be ideal for semi-final hopefuls Afghanistan, but just one may do the trick, provided they increase their run rate to overtake either New Zealand or Australia in the table. That is easier said than done, with the Afghans facing Australia and South Africa in their upcoming games. 


Here's where things start to get a little more interesting. Staring at an early exit just days earlier, Pakistan breathed new life into their Cricket World Cup 2023 campaign with a timely win against Bangladesh. Just two points behind the final semi-final sports, the easiest thing for the Asian heavyweights to do would be to win their remaining matches against New Zealand and England by good margins. However, they can also qualify with just a win, provided the following happens: Australia lose all their matches, New Zealand lose all their matches, Afghanistan lose two of their three matches, and Pakistan finish with a better net run rate compared to closest challengers. 

New Zealand 

Primed for a knockout spot, the job is not done for 2015 and 2019 finalists, New Zealand. The Kiwis have two scenarios to contend: either win both their remaining games, finishing with a better run rate that can match their eventual 12-point total, or win one game but maintain a superior rate compared to the teams that can finish with ten. 


Win their three remaining matches, and they are through - this is as simple as it gets for Australia, who face England, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh to conclude their league stage campaign. Win two, and the record World Cup champions would need to finish with a better run rate than all the other teams that can and may end up with 12 points; win one, and the same scenario unfolds, albeit against teams contending for the fourth and final spot. 

South Africa

On 12 points already, South Africa can qualify even if they lose their remaining games against India and Afghanistan, provided their net run rate doesn't drop below standard. Win one, and they are through.