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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > News > Report

India go into week two on the backfoot

Anant Gaundalkar in Mumbai | February 17, 2003 18:16 IST

England's decision to not play its match in Robert Mugabe's country, and the ICC's decision to award four full points for the forfeiture, means that Zimbabwe are virtually one victory away from making it to the Super Six stage of the World Cup.

Having beaten The Nertherlands, Zimbabwe have eight points in their kitty. A victory against Namibia will take the tally to 12. If Australia follow in England's footsteps and refuse to play in Zimababwe, as they threatened, the co-hosts will be through without a squeak. But even if Australia does go to Harare, it means the co-hosts of the eighth World Cup have to surprise one of three teams -- Australia, Pakistan or India -- to go through.

Admittedly, with all teams having only played two matches each, the points' situation in Pool A is still far from being clear and predictions can be dicey.

But this much is clear: India go into week two on the backfoot. They are in fifth position, just above Holland and Namibia, and they have a Net Run Rate (NRR) of -0.36 that is desperately in need of some urgent repair if they end up with the same number of points as any of the other two claimants for the Super Six slots: England (NRR +3.33) and Pakistan (+0.94)

Australia is already well on its way to the Super Six, having beaten Pakistan and India. Victories over the two minnows (Holland and Namibia) will give them 16 points, which is more than enough to take them to the next stage of the tournament, even if they lose to Zimabwbe or England.

England have four points from their victory against Namibia on Sunday. If they win against Holland, as is likely, and even if they win against any one of the other three big teams (India, Australia, Pakistan), they will have 12 points.

Likewise, even if India is assured of eight points against Holland and Naimbia, its loss to Australia means it will have to beat Zimbabwe, England and Pakistan to go comfortably through. Even one loss in those three big matches means India will be left with 12 points. Ditto Pakistan which, too, has lost to Australia.

If India, Pakistan and England all end up with 12 points, along with Zimbabwe who are already there, it will all come down to the NRR.

Worse, Super Six teams carry forward and the NRR gained against the fellow Super Six qualifiers, which are then used to compute places for the semi-finals. Which means even if India makes it to Super Six, its win against Holland counts for nothing and the loss to Australia means everything.

Pool B: Sunday's victory against South Africa makes New Zealand an almost dead-certainty to qualify for the Super Six stage of the World Cup.

Although they lost to Sri Lanka, the 'Black Caps' have eight points from their two victories against South Africa and the West Indies. With matches against minnows Canada and Bangladesh coming up, New Zealand are poised to end up with 16 points even if they forfeit their match in Kenya.

Before the tournament began, Pool B was seen to be the weaker of the two. But South Africa's two defeats have thrown the points system upside down.

There were four strong teams -- South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and West Indies -- and three weak teams, Canada, Kenya and Bangladesh. If three of the four strong teams have to proceed to the Super Six, they need a minimum of four victories, three against the minnows, and one against one of the three strong teams.

But all those presumptions have gone for a six.

Having lost to both the West Indies and New Zealand, South Africa's March 3 game against Sri Lana will prove crucial. The hosts, who entered the tournament as one of the two favourites, have just four points from three matches, and if they roll over Canada, Kenya and Bangladesh, they will have 16 points.

The West Indies are in a slightly tricky situation. They beat South Africa in the first match and lost to New Zealand. If they beat Canada, Kenya and Bangladesh, as they are expected to, they will end up with 16 points like South Africa. But they are below the hosts in the Net Run Rate stakes. South Africa has a NRR of +1.14 to the Wndies' –0.22. Not only will the Windies have to win against Sri Lanka (December 28) but win well.

Former champions Sri Lanka are sitting pretty. Having won over New Zealand and Bangladesh, the Lankans have to register just two more wins (which seems assured when the opposition is Kenya and Canada). That will give them four wins and 16 points. A victory over the West Indies will take them to 20, and a win over South Africa will ensure that they top Pool B with 24 points.

Will South Africa let them do that?

Leading Batting Averages

1Sanath JayasuriyaSL221175120175.0096.151
2Herschelle GibbsSA331254143127.00108.081
3Gary KirstenSA33212669126.0079.240
4Ramnaresh  SarwanWI22110775 107.0093.850
5Lance KlusenerSA321905790.00130.430
6Stephen FlemingNZ331160134*80.0099.371
7Ricky PontingAus221775377.0084.610
8Marvan AtapattuSL2217569*75.0085.220
9Scott StyrisNZ32014614173.00104.281
10Matthew HaydenAus2217245*72.0080.000
11Ravindu ShahKen2201216160.5066.480
12Brian LaraWI22011811659.0085.501
13Tim de LeedeHoll2215858*58.0055.230
14Ian BillcliffCan2201137156.5069.320
15Nicky BojeSA321542954.0087.090
 Ricardo PowellWI2215440*54.00168.750
17Wasim AkramPak221533353.00117.770
18Nick KnightEng110515151.0087.930
 Michael VaughanEng110515151.00108.510
20Nathan AstleNZ33110054*50.0075.750
 Ridley JacobsWI210505050.0068.490
 (Qualification: 1 completed innings)

Leading Bowling Averages

1John DavisonCan21543056.002.003-15
2James AndersonEng11012546.252.504-25
3Chaminda VaasSL216.124767.832.906-25
4Jason GillespieAus218341410.252.273-13
5Anil KumbleInd217156511.203.294-32
6Wasim AkramPak219192811.504.845-28
7Austin CodringtonCan219471611.833.735-27
8Muthiah MuralitharanSL219567513.403.523-25
9Javagal SrinathInd213.1156414.004.254-30
10Ian HarveyAus19.3058414.506.104-58
11Shoaib AkhtarPak218191615.165.054-46
12Thomas OdoyoKen216262415.503.874-28
13Tim de LeedeHoll213.5064416.004.624-35
14Brad HoggAus214.4070417.504.773-54
15Brett LeeAus216173418.254.563-36
16Vasbert DrakesWI218282420.504.552-33
17Lance KlusenerSA3212106521.205.044-16
18Abdre AdamsNZ327.41159722.715.744-44
19Shaun PollockSA3244103425.754.292-15
20Jacob OramNZ3282115428.754.102-26
 Qualification: 4 wickets)

Leading Wicketkeepers

1Mark BoucherSA3505
 Kumara SangakkaraSL2415
3Rahul DravidInd2314
 Adam GilchristAus2404
 Ridley JacobsWI2314

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Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 73

Sub: error in ur article

Dear Sir, U have quoted that if west indies have to qualify for the super six they have to beat sri lanka and not just ...

Posted by manoj gupta

Sub: On the backfoot in thesecond week

I thought that the NRR comes into play only after applying the rule that as between two teams having same number of points the team ...

Posted by R.Srinivasan

Sub: Problem in math ??:))

Y do people who cant add write columns? Assuming Ind will win with Nam and lose to one of the 3 remaining 'big' teams (Zim,Eng ...

Posted by Balaji

Sub: Flaws??

There are flaws in this article: "Australia is already well on its way to the Super Six, having beaten Pakistan and India. Victories over the ...

Posted by A Reader

Sub: NRR or head to head

Doesn't Head to head results count more if only 2 teams are tied on the same points? I would think so.

Posted by AK


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