Asia Cup 2018: India Vs Hong Kong Match Preview

| September 17 , 2018 , 19:41 IST

Defending champion India will look to sweep aside minnows Hong Kong in their Asia Cup 2018 campaign opener on Tuesday and will aim to prepare well for their fixture against arch-rivals Pakistan on September 19.

Hong Kong, after suffering a massive defeat in their first game from the hands of Pakistan will go with full-force against India, to secure valuable points and remain in contention to qualify for top 4.

Both teams have faced each other just once in this format, which was in 2008 edition of Asia Cup, which India won comprehensively by 256 runs. Batting first India scored 374/4 in their quota of 50 overs before bowling out the Hong Kong lineup for just 118 runs.

Under Rohit Sharma's captaincy and with experienced of former captain M.S. Dhoni in their ranks, India will look to get their combination right in the first game before the tougher test of Pakistan on which all eyes will rest.

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Besides Rohit, the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, K.L. Rahul and Kedar Jadhav add valuable strength to their batting line-up while in the bowling department, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are capable to display a lot of variety.

Men in Blue have played nine ODIs so far this year, winning six and losing three. After winning six ODI series in a row, they lost their most recent series against hosts England in July 2018.

India's middle order is an issue too and needs to be resolved ahead of the World Cup next year. Back in the mix after a back injury, Bhuvneshwar Kumar will also look to use the Hong Kong game as a warm-up ahead of the Pakistan clash. He recently came back to competitive cricket for India A against South Africa A.

A look at the Squads of both the team:

India- Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, K.L. Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, M.S. Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shardul Thakur, Dinesh Karthik, Khaleel Ahmed.

Hong Kong- Anshuman Rath (Captain), Aizaz Khan, Babar Hayat, Cameron McAulson, Christopher Carter, Ehsan Khan, Ehsan Nawaz, Arshad Mohammed, Kinchit Shah, Nadeem Ahmed, Raag Kapur, Scott McKehnie, Tanvir Ahmed, Tanvir Afzal, Waqas Khan, Aftab Hussain.