ODI tri-series: How Indian cricket team can still reach the final

The touring Indian team members Down Under may not find themselves as engrossed as others on today's developments on the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing and betting case's Supreme Court verdict. They themselves are dealing with altogether a different beast at hand. After losing to both Australia and England in the first round matches, India have very limited chance of making it to the final. But, all that matters for the team is winning the tri-series. Because, the defending ICC World Cup champions can't afford to finish third in a tri-series in the run-up to the quadrennial tournament. It will send a wrong signal to everyone.

By Jayanta Oinam | Last Updated: Feb 17, 2015, 11:20 AM IST
ODI tri-series: How Indian cricket team can still reach the final

New Delhi: The touring Indian team members Down Under may not find themselves as engrossed as others on today's developments on the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing and betting case's Supreme Court verdict. They themselves are dealing with altogether a different beast at hand.

After losing to both Australia and England in the first round matches, India have very limited chance of making it to the final. But, all that matters for the team is winning the tri-series. Because, the defending ICC World Cup champions can't afford to finish third in a tri-series in the run-up to the quadrennial tournament. It will send a wrong signal to everyone.

However, not everything is lost for the Indian team despite losing those two matches. MS Dhoni can still hope to play the final, if:

  1. England beat Australia tomorrow with bonus point, then India need to win both their games with bonus points. Even if India manage to win only one match but with bonus point, then they will have to fight it out with England for a place in the final on net run rate.
  2. England beat Australia tomorrow without bonus point, then India again need to win both the matches with bonus points to qualify for the final. And in case of India winning only one match with bonus point, then it's the net run rate play.
  3. Australia beat England with bonus point or not, it becomes lot more simpler. All India need to do is win their matches, without worrying about bonus points or run rates.
  4. Australia beat both England and India, then the final round-robin match between England and India becomes a virtual semi-final.

Just to make it lot more easier and simpler to themselves and millions of supporters around the globe, what MS Dhoni and his boys need to do is simple: win the remaining two matches big. Big means real big.

After playing two matches each, Australia are on nine points with a positive run rate of 0.664, while England have five points with a better run rate of 0.713. India are languishing at third without a point and a negative run rate of 1.356.

In between, Supreme Court of India early today announced its verdicts on the infamous IPL case. The apex court directed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to hold fresh elections within six weeks. But the ruling came with other landmark judgments.

Some of the them are:

  1. India cricket board's president in-exile, N Srinivasan has been barred from contesting its elections until he gives up commercial interests in cricket.
  2. A three-man panel to decide the fate of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. These franchises were associated with culprits Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra respectively.
  3. The apex court struck down the controversial 6.2.4 clause that allows borad officials to own IPL teams and have commercial interests, etc.