Asia Cup: India vs Hong Kong Preview

Cricket ball and bails on field

There was little in Hong Kong's opening match loss to Pakistan to suggest that they could challenge India, even with Virat Kohli absent.

India will be grateful for a match that will effectively be a warm-up for their massive meeting with Pakistan, which will be played the next day.

India vs Hong Kong | Tuesday, 18 September | Dubai International Stadium | 13:30     

To Win Match     
India 1/100
Tie 35/1
Hong Kong 12/1 

India
Even without their star skipper and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane, India have plenty of top-order firepower.

Rohit Sharma will stand in as skipper and, along with Shikhar Dhawan, look to blaze away from the outset.

The match against Hong Kong could provide India with an opportunity to hand a debut to left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed. The 20-year-old was a member of India's 2016 Under-19 World Cup squad.

The Asia Cup will be an important outing for fringe players like Manish Pandey and Ambati Rayudu. Rayudu had been selected for the T20Is against England, but failed a fitness test, while Pandey had been dropped after a string of poor performances - and hasn't played an ODI in 2018.

All-rounder Kedar Jadhav will be eager to re-establish himself in the side after a long injury lay-off struck him just as he was beginning to become an ODI regular.

India have picked two wicketkeepers in the squad, but Dinesh Karthik will want to push for a place as a batsman should he be given the gloves against Hong Kong. MS Dhoni might be rested for the encounter against the minnows.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar will resume his partnership with Jasprit Bumrah at this tournament, but it is still unclear if he will play the first match.

Hong Kong
They were more than a little out of their depth against Pakistan's bowlers in the first match of the group, but will take a lot away from playing against the elite nations.

Pakistan and now India play their cricket with an unrivalled intensity - and in some ways Hong Kong will be grateful just to get an up-close look at some of the best players in the world.

Tactically, it is hard to see Hong Kong finding a way to bamboozle India, but skipper Anshuman Rath will need to come to the party, as will veteran batsman Babar Hayat.

It is tricky to assess their bowling options, given the small target Pakistan had to chase in the Group A opener.

Verdict: India 1/100
It would be criminal for India to lose a full ODI to Hong Kong.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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