Johannesburg:Their survival hinging on a favourable result elsewhere, India take on West Indies in a must-win match on Wednesday, hoping that arch-rivals Pakistan do them a favour by beating Australia in their final group A engagament of the Champions Trophy.
India approach Tuesday's game against the West Indies with a prayer on the lips that Pakistan would somehow prevail over Australia by a big margin in the day's first game in Centurion.
If it happens, India would need to up their net run-rate dramatically, besides winning the match, to stand a chance of making the last-four stage India presently has a net run-rate of -1.08 whereas Australia has a massive advantage of +1.00 in their favour.
Australia won their opening game against the West Indies by 50 runs and India lost theirs by 54 runs. So if India is to go past Australia's net run-rate, they ought to cover the difference of 104 runs between the two teams.
For instance, if Australia lose their game by 25 runs, India needs to win theirs against the West Indies by 80 runs to prevail and go through to the semi-finals.
However, if Australia bat first and score 250 runs, India need to get their runs inside 40 overs for them to go through.
The semi-final scenario
Current Net Run Rate
The difference in NRRs is 104 runs
How to pip the Aussies?
IF AUS CHASE AND INDIA BAT FIRST
IF AUS BAT FIRST and INDIA CHASE
Clearly such complications don't bode good things for India.
West Indies, despite missing most of their key players due to the ongoing contracts dispute, are no pushovers.
In their first game against Pakistan, they had the latter on ropes after Younus Khan's team had set itself up for a small chase. Pakistan, at one stage were reeling at 76 for 5, chasing 134 to win, when Umar Akmal bailed them out with his sensible batting.
In their second game, West Indies first had Australia on the backfoot and later in the evening, they batted beyond their skins to give the world champions a true scare.
Their fast bowling unit is more than competent which has settled itself nicely at the Wanderers.
India's bowling worries would also ease at the Wanderers where the pitch has consistently afforded bounce even though the swing factor isn't on. They quickly need to adapt themselves.
India's bowling could go unchanged despite the fact that having a five-strong attack did little to stop the Aussie batting from notching up 234 runs in 42 over.
Ishant Sharma too seems very low on confidence and was hammered by Australian batsmen last night.
It would not come as a surprise if he is rested though the bounce at the Wanderers pitch might as well give the lanky pacer a shot in the arm.
Batting hasn't done too badly and the experienced line-up, despite missing the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag, shouldn't find it tough to negotiate what is esssentially a second-string attack.
Even with their fighting spirit, West Indies are a rag-tag side and it would be interesting to see how they keep themselves motivated in an inconsequential game for them as they are already out of semifinal contention after their losses to Australia and Pakistan.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C), Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Amit Mishra, Abhishek Nayar, Ashish Nehra, Yusuf Pathan, Suresh Raina, Ishant Sharma, RP Singh.
West Indies: Floyd Reifer (C), Darren Sammy, David Bernard, Tino Best, Royston Crandon, Travis Dowlin, Andre Fletcher, Kevin McClean, Nikita Miller, Kieran Powell, Dale Richards, Kemar Roach, Devon Smith, Gavin Tonge, Chadwick Walton, Daren Powell.
Match starts at 6 pm IST.