IND vs HK Asia Cup 2022: Here are all the stats you need to know as India takes on Hong Kong at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai on Wednesday.
India will take on Hong Kong in the fourth match of Asia Cup 2022 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai on Wednesday and will hope to top Group A with a win and advance to the Super 4 stage.
India and Hong Kong have never met in a T20I and the clash on Wednesday will be the first-ever meeting between the teams in the shortest format at the international level.
However, the sides have played two ODIs against each other in the past, with India winning both contests.
India will be looking to build on its winning start in Asia Cup 2022 when the team takes on Hong Kong in a Group A game at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
Rohit Sharma’s men launched their bid to retain the Asia Cup trophy in style when they defeated arch-rivals Pakistan by 5 wickets in their opening fixture on Sunday.
With the toughest match of the contest already out of the way, India is now just a win away from securing a spot in the Super Four round of the Asia Cup.
But India cannot afford to take Hong Kong lightly. Hong Kong has earned its chance to be amongst the big boys of the Asia Cup after it topped the Asia Cup qualifiers winnings all its three games against the UAE, Singapore and Kuwait.
Wednesday’s match between India and Hong Kong will be a throwback to the 2018 Asia Cup contest between the two sides when Hong Kong gave India a scare and almost won the match.
In that 50-over match, batting first Shikhar Dhawan’s century had prompted India to 285/7. In the chase Nizakat Khan and his fellow opener and then the Hong Kong skipper Anshy Rath had put up a brave partnership of 174. That stand had ignited Hong Kong’s hopes to upset the apple kart. But the rest of the batting collapsed handing India a win by a narrow margin of 26 runs.
Can Hong Kong do better this time around and come out on top against the tournament favourites?
They could! The unpredictable and random nature of T20 cricket ensures that Hong Kong’s chances of a win have already improved this time around.
A lot will depend on the batsmen like Nizakat, Babar Hayat and Yasim Murtaza. The three have been Hong Kong’s leading run scorers in T20Is in the last one year. In the qualifiers, Nizakat and Babar hit flourishing fifties against Kuwait while Yasim smashed a half-century against the UAE.
The batsmen alone cannot win the match and they will have to be backed by the bowlers. A lot of heavy lifting will have to come from right-arm off-break bowler Ehsan Khan. The spinner was on song in the qualifiers as he picked 9 wickets in three matches. Also, watch out for right-arm medium fast bowling of Aizaz Khan and leg breaks from Mohammad Ghazanfar.
The mood in the opposite camp will be upbeat after a thrilling win over Pakistan. But India need to address a couple of issues if the team needs to all the way and lift the Asia Cup for a record-extending eighth time.
Most concerning for India is the form of opener KL Rahul. His first-ball duck against Pakistan made life tough for the rest of the batsmen. Rahul has only returned to top-flight international cricket this month after a lengthy injury layoff. Although he did captain India in a 3-0 series win over Zimbabwe he hardly did anything noteworthy with the bat. Rahul could still be rusty. Moreover, Rahul’s approach to a T20 innings is always a topic of debate. Rohit has a tough call to make. Should he drop Rahul right away or give the opener a go against Hong Kong to get back in form?
Rahul’s exclusion could pave way for either Deepak Hooda or Rishabh Pant. Both these players have their own added advantages. Hooda has a far more aggressive approach to a T20 knock than Rahul and can also bowl if the need be. With Pant, India gets an additional left-handed batsman in the batting order who can also open.
Rohit would also want that Virat Kohli does better with the bat against Hong Kong. There were some signs that Kohli could be roaring back to form against Pakistan and the former Indian captain looked good during his short but then against the run of play Kohli attempted a needless shot and lost his wicket to spinner Mohammad Nawaz.
Finally, Rohit should also start firing. He has played 14 T20I matches this year but has notched only one half-century.
There were murmurs around India’s top order at the start of the Asia Cup. India has to ensure that those murmurs don’t grow louder with each passing match. If Rohit, Rahul and Kohli don’t get their act together soon enough, the onus of winning the matches will keep falling on the shoulders of Hardik Pandya. Read More Latest Cricket News….
INDIA: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul (vc), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan. Standby Players: Axar Patel, Deepak Chahar, Shreyas Iyer
HONG KONG: Yasim Murtaza, Nizakat Khan (c), Babar Hayat, Kinchit Shah, Aizaz Khan, Scott McKechnie (wk), Zeeshan Ali, Haroon Arshad, Ehsan Khan, Mohammad Ghazanfar, Ayush Shukla, Wajid Shah, Aftab Hussain, Dhananjay Rao, Mohammad Waheed, Ahan Trivedi, Ateeq Iqbal.