Who will India face in the semi-finals of the ongoing Kabaddi World Cup?

Japan-Thailand encounter will decide India's fate

India’s thumping win against England in their last group encounter confirmed a semi-final birth in the ongoing 2016 Kabaddi World Cup. But who will the defending champs be up against, will be decided in today’s crucial encounter between Japan and Thailand. Pardeep Narwal (13) and Ajay Thakur (11) scores 24 points together and helped hosts India to register a 51-margin win over England. The game finished at 69-18 and India became the second qualifiers from group A with 4 wins, 1 loss and a score difference of 174 points.

India’s defeat against group A table toppers – South Korea has made the contest interesting. In the dying moments of the first game of the tournament, Korea had pulled an upset on India as Korea won the game 34-32. The loss against Korea was good enough to get the team back on track in the remainder of the group games. Before the competition began, Iran were touted as the second best team in the tournament and a final clash between Iran and India was anticipated. Iran, too, had a bad day at the office and lost to Poland 41-25.

The two big upsets in the tournament have resulted in a possible India-Iran clash in the semi-finals itself. While South Korea have qualified as the number one team and India as the second in Group A, standings from Group B are yet to be decided. Iran have made it through to the semis with 4 wins from their 5 games and have 20 points. Kenya, Thailand and Japan all are in contention for the qualifications as Kenya has 16 points from their 5 games, Thailand has 15 points from 4 matches and Japan has 11 in the same number of games.

Iran has a score difference of 71 points while Kenya has a score difference of 45 points. Thailand’s score difference is 78 and Japan’s is 12. If Thaialand wins the game, they will become table-toppers in group B and will face India in the semis. In that case, Iran will play against South Korea. If Japan wins by more than 7 points but less than 33, Japan and Kenya would have the same points (16) in the league. In that case, Iran will become the table-toppers and will play against India while South Korea will compete against Kenya.

WATCH: India’s Dream Team is ready for the ultimate glory

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If Japan wins the game by a margin greater than 33, they’ll make it through the semis and will play against South Korea and India will face Iran. If Japan wins by a margin of 7 points or less, Thailand will get a bonus point and will be tied with Japan and Kenya. Due to a strong score difference, Thailand will qualify and face South Korea while India will be up against Iran. So, Indian fans would be rooting for Thailand to win the encounter so that the hosts can play Iran in the finals and not the semis. The game between Japan and Thailand will commence from 9pm today.

WATCH: A day in the life of the Indian Kabaddi team

(Video Courtesy: YouTube.com/Star Sports)

The 2016 Kabaddi World Cup is the third edition of the standard style format. On both the previous occasions in 2004 and 2007, India emerged as winners with Iran being the runners-up and Bangladesh securing the third position. In the circle style Kabaddi World Cup, India has maintained its dominance. Since its inception in 2010, India have been undefeated. In 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, India secured the first position while arch-rivals Pakistan have been second on 4 instances and Canada on one.

Led by Anup Kumar, the Indian team is touted as the dream team and is expected to lift the championship once again. India in the group stage encounters have defeated Australia 54-20, Bangladesh 57-20, Argentina 74-20 and England 69-18. India has the highest score difference (174) in terms of points and are followed by South Korea (108).

Twitter was flooded with congratulatory messages for the team.

  • (Cover Video courtesy: YouTube.com/Star Sports)