India's six-wicket loss at the hands of Australia in a round-robin match of the ICC Women's World Cup 2022 on Saturday have made their life a lot tougher in the tournament. They have just two matches in hand against Bangladesh on March 22 and South Africa on March 27. (More Cricket News)
As situations stand, India are still in the fourth spot and need to win their remaining two matches to ensure themselves a semifinal spot.
Meanwhile, Australia, on the back of five wins in five matches have sealed their spot in the last four. South Africa, who are in the second spot with four wins, are certain to qualify for the semifinals.
Led by Mithali Raj, who is playing a record sixth and last World Cup, India had a mixed tournament so far. The Women in Blue started with a bang beating arch-rivals Pakistan by 107 runs in the campaign opener.
However, they were given a reality check in the very next game against hosts New Zealand with a 62-run loss at Seddon Park in Hamilton. Incidentally, India had also lost the ODI series against this same New Zealand side 4-1 prior to the World Cup.
Fortunes changed for India in their third game as centuries from Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur helped India register a mammoth 155-run win over West Indies which in turn boosted their Net Run-Rate (NRR).
But the Indian team couldn’t hold the momentum, slipping to their second loss of the tournament against England on Wednesday. With West Indies clinching a narrow four-run win over Bangladesh, the Caribbeans entered the top four at three, displacing India.
Australia and South Africa are sitting pretty at the top of the table. The fight for the next two spots will be between India, West Indies and England.
How India can qualify for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022?
India, with four points from five games, are fourth in the table with an NRR of +0.456. England, after their one-wicket win over New Zealand, are back again in contention for the semis. As of now, India, England and New Zealand are on four points each in the points table.
Four wins from seven round-robin games are deemed to be just about enough for a side to qualify for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 semifinals.
Only just wins in remaining games couldn't have sufficed for Indians to enter the semi-finals until the West Indies vs Pakistan game on Monday. But Pakistan's win over the Caribbean team has given India a slight edge. India, who have a far better NRR than Windies, just need to win their remaining two games to enter semifinal.
While India start favourites against minnows Bangladesh, one shouldn't take the debutants likely as they can emerge giant killers on their day. Bangladesh defeated Pakistan and almost created an upset against West Indies before losing by four runs.
If India are able to defeat Bangladesh and continue the momentum to beat South Africa keeping their NRR healthy, they will easily sail into the final 4.
What are the chances for other teams?
According to the format of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022, each team will play the other seven sides once in the league phase with the top four teams sealing their place in the semifinals. The maximum a team can garner is 14 points each (two points per game).
Considering, South Africa (+0.22 NRR) too, follow Australia, England's win on Sunday has made the qualification scenarios even more interesting. England (+0.327 NRR) have risen to the fifth spot.
Now, given West Indies have lost to Pakistan, both India and England just need to win their remaining games to enter semifinal. In this case, the two teams will have eight points each and even if the Windies team wins its remaining one game against South Africa it would not qualify for the next stage courtesy its poor NRR of -0.885..
On the other hand, New Zealand, with just two wins from six games, are all but out of the tournament.