In their last meeting, India survived a scare to defeat Hong Kong by 26 runs in their Asia Cup group league opener in Dubai. Shikhar Dhawan smashed 127 off 120 balls as India scored 285 for seven after being asked to bat. In pursuit of a 286-run target, unheralded Hong Kong opening pair of Nizakat Khan (92) and skipper Anshuman Rath (73) added a record 174-run partnership which was the side’s highest partnership in ODI cricket.
Hong Kong made it to the Asia cup by defeating Singapore by 8 runs and defeating Kuwait and UAE by 8 wkts each in the qualifiers last week. They have been on the road for the past 3 months. Their tours have taken them to Namibia, Uganda, and Jersey. Zimbabwe for T20 World Cup qualifiers, Oman for Asia Cup qualifiers, and now they're in the UAE for the Asia Cup, where they'll face India and Pakistan. Keeping these players fresh and protecting from burn out is our main priority asserted Hong Kong's head coach Trent Johnston. Hong Kong's batting rests on the shoulders of skipper Nizakat Khan and Babar Hayat. Since 2020, the skipper has scored over 400 runs at a SR of 124 while the latter has accumulated 217 runs from 8 inns at a SR of 134. Ehsan Khan will lead the bowling attack with the likes of leg spinner Mohd Ghazanfar, left arm spinner Yasim Murtaza and the young fast bolwer Ayush Shukla. Their chances of success against India, who have lost only 4 of their last 23 T20Is, are slim on paper, but cricket is a game of uncertainties, and they might surprise us with their performance.
India will be riding high on momentum after defeating their arch rivals Pakistan in a last over thriller. Although India continued with their winning streak in t20is but it opened up a set of questions. The top order hasn't been among runs and was struggling to put bat to ball in the powerplay. Virat Kohli scored almost run a ball 35 with few exquisite shots but he was nowhere near the vintage Virat we have seen all these years. With Pant dropped they had to promote Jadeja to counter Nawaz and Shadab. That move could have terribly backfired since Jadeja's nos against spin are abysmal.
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan
Yasim Murtaza, Nizakat Khan (c), Babar Hayat, Kinchit Shah, Aizaz Khan, Scott Mckechnie, Zeeshan Ali (wk), Haroon Arshad, Ehsan Khan, Mohammad Ghazanfar, Ayush Shukla
Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
Total matches 76
Matches won batting first 34
Matches won bowling first 41
Average 1st Inns scores 141
Average 2nd Inns scores 124
Highest total recorded 211/6 (20 Ov) by IRE vs SCO
Lowest total recorded 55/10 (14.2 Ov) by WI vs ENG
Highest score chased 183/5 (19.4 Ov) by AFG vs UAE
Lowest score defended 134/7 (20 Ov) by OMAN vs HK
Head to Head
In the Asia Cup, India has won twice against Hong Kong in ODIs, while this will be the first T20I between these teams.
(last 5 innings)
Key players and Fantasy picks
Hardik Pandya: Since his return from the injury, he has put a brilliant case for being one of the finest all rounders in the t20 format. With captaincy and leading his IPL team to a title victory he has emerged as a more mature player. 487 runs in 2022 IPL and Man of the match performance in the final with the ball. 383 runs at a SR of 145 in last 16 t20is and 13 wkts including a 4 fer against Eng makes him one of the most utility players in the format.
Rohit Sharma / KL Rahul: The opening pair was ruthless when they faced a relatively not so strong opposition during the last wt20 and put up great opening stands against Scotland, Namibia and Afghanistan. KL Rahul would be hungry for runs after few dismal outings in Zimbabwe followed by the opening game against Pak.
(Fantasy rating - 8/8.5 points)
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar: He has picked up 24 wkts in t20is this year and has provided consistent breakthroughs in Powerplay. The record for most wkts in a calendar year belongs to Jasprit Bumrah with 28 wkts in 2016
Ehsan Khan: The 37 yr old right arm off break bowler is the most experienced bowler in the squad. Since the start of 2020, he has scalped 25 wkts from 16 innings. In 2018 edition he took the prized scalps of Rohit, Dhoni, Fakhar and Babar.
Hong Kong player Nizakat Khan said, "I'm a big fan of Virat Kohli. We want him to comeback in form and score lots of runs". (To @VibhuBhola).— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) August 30, 2022
Asian Teams with most no. of T20I Wins in 2022:— Schrodinger (@_troll_10) August 30, 2022
🇮🇳 India: 17
🇦🇫 Afghanistan: 7
🇦🇪 UAE: 7
🇰🇼 Kuwait : 6
🇭🇰 Hong Kong: 5
🇴🇲 Oman: 3
🇧🇩 Bangladesh: 2
🇱🇰 Srilanka: 2
🇵🇰 Pakistan: 🦆#AsiaCup2022 | #CricketTwitter
How a team of semi-professionals, ranging from delivery drivers and teachers to coaches and businessmen, among others, are driving Hong Kong’s cricket dream. Much thanks to coach @TrentJohnston23 for his insights.https://t.co/kwamHyHB3C— Shashank Kishore (@captainshanky) August 30, 2022