Asia Cup 2018: Opportunity for Indians to go into high gear against Hong Kong
India will start its Asia Cup campaign on 18th September vs Hong Kong. Though it might look like a no competition, India has many things to gain from this encounter. With many limited overs players on rest since the ODI series in England, they would like some match practice and India can try their best batting combination too.
With Virat Kohli not playing, it might just be the best opportunity for KL Rahul to prove his worth. But this will probably be his one final chance because if he fails this time around, it would be very hard for him to make a cut in this Indian team, especially in middle order.
India would also like to solve their middle order conundrum. We might see MS Dhoni batting at 4 with Kedar Jadhav and Ambati Rayudu taking the finisher's role. Ambati Rayudu will be desperate to prove a point after his omission from the England tour due to fitness reasons.
In the bowling department, India might give the opportunity to young sensation Khaleel Ahmed with Bumrah and probably Bhuvi on rest for this game to keep them fresh for the big encounter against Pakistan the very next day.
In the spin department, it would be the same combo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. They could be the most important players in this tournament on slow and dry pitches. Hardik Pandya after his poor showing in the Test series barring the 3rd test would love to get into action and boost his confidence going ahead since he still is very important to India's balance, especially in limited overs cricket.
Hong Kong on the other side with nothing to lose really will try to give their best shot and hope that they at least run India close in the match.