Asia Cup 2018: India vs Hong Kong Preview
- Defending champions, India will start their Asia Cup campaign against Hong Kong
'Defending Champs' India will start their campaign versus Hong Kong
ASIA CUP 2018 - Group A, India v Hong Kong
Date and Time: 18th September, 3:30 PM Local Time
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
After a hard-fought UK tour, Team India will start their Asia Cup title defence against minnows Hong Kong. Virat Kohli's absence gives them a perfect opportunity to trial the middle-order, with having bunch of options to choose from. Ambati Rayudu and Manish Pandey are prime contenders for middle-order slots and Kedar Jadhav with his knacky bowling skills will be a perfect fit at no.6.
Also Read - ASIA CUP 2018: Group A Preview
If you go by Rohit's press-conference, left-hand pacer Khaleel Ahmed is set for a debut and he might play in place of Jasprit Bumrah. Spin twins Kuldeep and Chahal will look to continue their misery and in Axar Patel they had another spin option, who can be very influential on a slowish Dubai pitch. He's also a handy batsman at no.7 position. Apart from these, Bhuvi will also have a comeback to the Indian colours after his shortened UK tour due to an injury.
On the other hand, Hong Kong had nothing much to savour from their loss against Pakistan. It will be very difficult for them to face the no.2 ODI rank team after a dismal outing. Former captain Babar Hayat is a terrific all-rounder and his team needs some individual brilliance from players like him to put up a fight in order to get more ICC affiliated matches in the near future. It will be the first thing on their 'to-do' list.
What to Expect: As usual, anticipate another hot day with temperatures hovering around 40-45 degrees Celsius. The same pitch which is used for Pakistan's game is supposed to be used and it will be difficult to bat as the game progresses. Whoever wins the toss will definitely bat first.
With 2 games in 2 days, team management might rest few players to keep them fresh for the next day's game against Pakistan. KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah are the likely ones to sit out.
India (Likely XI) - Rohit Sharma(C), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni(wk), Kedar Jadhav, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Khaleel Ahmed
Hong Kong may not tinker with their playing XI and chances of continuing the same team that won qualifiers against Nepal, UAE are high.
Hong Kong (Likely XI) - Nizakat Khan, Anshuman Rath(C), Babar Hayat, Kinchit Shah, Christopher Carter, Ehsan Khan, Aizaz Khan, Scott McKechnie(wk), Tanvir Afzal, Ehsan Nawaz, Nadeem Ahmed
--> India and Hong Kong have met each other once in the 2008 Asia Cup where centuries from MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina propelled India to a commendable 256-run win.
--> MS Dhoni's 95.16 is the highest avg for a batsman with a minimum of 500 runs in the Asia Cup history.
--> Kuldeep Yadav had 48 wickets in 23 ODIs. If he takes two or more, then he will be the second fastest Indian behind Ajit Agarkar (23 ODIs) and will also be the second quickest spinner in the world to follow the feat, behind Ajanta Mendis (19 ODIs).
Who said what:
"Getting starts is great but you've to kick on. That's certainly a lesson we'll look to rectify in the next game against India" - Hong Kong Captain Anshuman Rath after their defeat against Pakistan
India: Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan (VC), KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Y Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, J Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Khaleel Ahmed.
Hong Kong: Anshuman Rath (C & wk ), Babar Hayat, Waqas Khan, Kinchit Shah, Aizaz Khan, Nizakat Khan, Tanvir Afzal, Christopher Carter (wk), Scott McKechnie, Ehsan Khan, Ehsan Nawaz, Arshad Mohammad, Nadeem Ahmed, Raag Kapur, Tanveer Ahmed, Aftab Hussain.Published 18 Sep 2018, 11:14 IST