Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

South Africa is now out of contention for the semifinals after facing a shocking loss against lower-ranked Netherlands in the ongoing T20 World Cup in Australia. The Men in Blue have now secured their place in the semifinals berth.

The result of the India vs Zimbabwe encounter later in the day will only decide whether Rohit Sharma’s guys will end up on top of the group or not.

Meanwhile, the exit of Proteas has made it easier for Pakistan to qualify for the top four spot. If Pakistan manage to emerge victorious against Bangladesh in their last Super 12 match, the Men in Green will secure six points and seal their place in the semifinals. If Men in Blue do not manage to win against Zimbabwe, it will depend on the run rates to decide whether it’s Pakistan or India finishing at the top of Group 2.

Pakistan have a great chance to surge into the semifinals by beating Bangladesh. Considering the higher probability of India winning against minnow Zimbabwe and Pakistan against Bangladesh, the semifinals will look like this.

India will lock horns against England, the no.2 from Group 1, and Pakistan will take on New Zealand, the group toppers. The outcome of those two matches will decide who will play against each other in the finals. For cricket buffs across the globe it will be a massive day if both India and Pakistan manage to emerge victorious in their respective semifinal matches and in the process enter the summit clash. In that case, it will be definitely the match of the mega event for sure - - the high-octane encounter between the arch-rivals.

Notably, India have beaten Pakistan in a close encounter in the group stage of the ongoing T20 World Cup. But, the Men in Green have the potential to bounce back. The fans should recollect that India beat Pakistan in the group stage of Asia Cup. But Pakistan came back strongly to beat the Men in Blue in the Super-4 stages and in the process knocked them out of the contention from the final. Hence, India must learn their lessons and be wary of Pakistan’s threat for the bigger stage.

So, the news from Australia is that the probability of India-Pakistan encounter in the final of the T20 World Cup is very much on the cards. Under this circumstance, Indian fans would only hope that the Men in Blue will emulate their 2007 World Cup glory by defeating arch-rival Pakistan in the all-important final.