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T20 World Cup 2024: How England can still qualify in a game of NRR?

T20 World Cup 2024: How England can still qualify for super eights? England need to win remaining games by big margin and hope for other results to fall in their favour.

T20 World Cup 2024: How England can still qualify? | Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©ICC_X)
T20 World Cup 2024: How England can still qualify? (Photo: ©ICC/X)

England, the reigning champions of the T20 Cricket World Cup, stand at a critical juncture following their recent defeat to Australia by a margin of 36 runs. This loss, combined with the unfortunate abandonment of their match against Scotland, has placed Jos Buttler’s team in a precarious position.

The question that is looming large is that will England face elimination in the group stage of T20 World Cup 2024. Such an outcome would be catastrophic, given the abundance of talent within their ranks. Moreover, memories of their disappointing exit from the ODI World Cup in India last October haunt their current campaign. Could history be repeating itself in the Caribbean?

England’s defeat against Australia

The defeat against Australia on Saturday, June 8, has left England trailing at the fourth place in their group, a situation exacerbated by their failure to secure victories in their first two matches. With their Super 8 stage aspirations hanging by a thread, the pressure on the team is palpable.

In the clash against Australia, England initially took to the field with hopes of containing their opponents. However, their bowlers faltered, conceding 74 runs during the powerplay and struggling to regain momentum thereafter. The Australian batters capitalised on these shortcomings, posting a formidable total of 201/7.

England's pursuit of victory commenced promisingly, with Jos Buttler and Phil Salt showcasing their batting prowess. Yet, Adam Zampa’s timely strikes halted their momentum, leading to a domino effect that saw England restricted to 165/6 by the innings' end.

Michael Vaughan lashes out at England

Former England cricketer Michael Vaughan did not hold back in his criticism of the national team's performance in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024. Vaughan said, "We should not be surprised that England are in this mess. It has been far too cosy for too long in the white-ball set up. The team has been in decline for a while and is making the same mistakes all over again in selection and tactics.”

However, Vaughan is still hoping that the English men could still make it. "I guess the one advantage in T20 cricket is that it can turn around quickly and England have done it before. They lost to Ireland two years ago but rallied to win the tournament. They can suddenly become world beaters and are a better group when they have copped a bit of criticism and have the point-to-prove mentality but it feels like a big step up this time,” Vaughan further said.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, England Review_ England have lost two back to back series at home in 2022 summer. Jos Buttler feels the captaincy pressure_ _ Walking Wicket (Source_  ©X_twitter)
Rain abandoned game hurt England's qualification chances (Source: ©X/twitter)
How can England still qualify?

The road to the Super 8 stage is fraught with obstacles for England. Securing victories against Namibia and Oman in their remaining matches is imperative, but their fate also hinges on other results within the group. If England win both matches and Scotland falls to Australia, both teams would be tied on 5 points, elevating Net Run Rate (NRR) to a pivotal role in determining qualification.

With fixtures against Oman and Namibia on the horizon, England not only seeks to win but also aims to secure them convincingly, thereby enhancing their NRR. The scenario is complex, with various margin-of-victory scenarios painting a vivid picture of England's predicament.

The game of NRR

For instance, a win against Oman by 36 runs would see England's NRR return to approximately 0. Doubling that margin of victory to 72 runs would yield a positive rate of around 1.8. Furthermore, if England bats first in both matches and secures victories by 50 runs, their NRR could climb to approximately 3.2, theoretically enough to surpass Scotland's NRR, provided Scotland suffers a defeat to Australia.

The gravity of England's situation emphasises the challenges encountered in their title defence campaign. Adding to the complexity is the knowledge that Scotland possesses regarding the required NRR for progression, creating a strategic dimension to their matches.

Can the comeback kings make it again?

Nevertheless, England draws strength from its illustrious history in major tournaments. Resilience has been a hallmark of past campaigns, exemplified by their triumph in the 2019 50-over World Cup and their comeback to win the 2022 T20 World Cup despite early setbacks.

With two pivotal matches ahead, England remain steadfast in their determination to emulate past successes and secure advancement to the next round. The journey ahead is arduous, but the team remains undaunted, poised to script another chapter of glory on the grand stage of international cricket.


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