The defending champion India is geared up to begin the campaign in the Asia Cup 2018. They will face Hong Kong at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday. As far as the competition in the game is concerned, the mighty Indians will leave no stones unturned in trying to give a hammering to the opposition.
Hong Kong did well to win the qualifying tournament. But they faced a reality check in the first match against Pakistan. They were thrashed by mighty Pakistani side and once again, they face an equally threatening opposition. But it’s a great chance for the upcoming cricketers to share the field with the superstars of the game.
On the other hand, the Indian team is coming from a hard-fought yet disappointing tour of England. But only 5 players in the current squad were a part of the Test series. So, there won’t be any issues with the freshness of the players. They would be looking to get over the last series and get back to winning ways.
India and Hong Kong have come against each other only once in ODI cricket. That contest in the Asia Cup 2008 was commanded by the Men in Blue as they piled on 374 runs batting first on the back of centuries from MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina. In reply, Hong Kong was bundled out for 118 handing India a win by 256 runs. We can expect a similar result again.
Here is our prediction for the game
Case1: If India bats first
First Innings score prediction: 340-350
Result prediction: India will win the match by more than 150 runs
Case2: If Hong Kong bats first
First Innings score prediction: 120-130
Result prediction: India will win the match by 9 wickets
Head to head in ODIs
Total ODIs: 1, India won: 1, Hong Kong won: 0, No Result: 0
The Indian team is without the regular skipper Virat Kohli. He was rested after the long England tour which meant that Rohit Sharma will lead the troop. Rohit, alongside Shikhar Dhawan, will don massive responsibility of the batting line-up. In the absence of Kohli, KL Rahul might bat at N0.3.
It’s a great opportunity for the selectors to experiment with the No.4 slot. They have brought in the likes of Manish Pandey, Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik. At first, Pandey might get a look-in ahead of others owing to his tremendous form of late. MS Dhoni will be the key man at No.5 while Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya will provide the finishing touches.
India will have the regular pace bowling pair of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah back on the show. They are a wonderful pair in white ball cricket. The spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav too will be back in action. Hardik will play the 5th bowler’s role and Jadhav’s presence will provide the extra cushion with the ball.
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
It was a tough day at the office for Hong Kong against Pakistan. They were bowled out for just 116 batting first. Only 2 batsmen – Kinchit Shah and Aizaz Khan were able to go past the score of 20. Even the bowlers weren’t able to pose any threat apart from Ehsan Khan. They will brace themselves for a similar assault against India.
Nizakat Khan, Anshuman Rath (c), Babar Hayat, Kinchit Shah, Christopher Carter, Ehsan Khan, Aizaz Khan, Scott McKechnie (wk), Tanwir Afzal, Ehsan Nawaz, Nadeem Ahmed