India’s probable XI against Hong Kong: Sportsrush presents before you India’s probable XI for their first match of the Asia Cup.
In which will be the fourth match of Asia Cup 2018, it will only be India’s first. A potential reason why India has been given their first match on the fourth day might be the fact that their tour of England had just ended four days before the start of the Asia Cup.
With the players who were present in England reaching Dubai on Sunday, it makes sense to at least give them a day before making them play a match in the heat of UAE. India will lock horns against Hong Kong tomorrow and by no means they would be taking this match easy.
That being said, they are also not expected to field in their best playing eleven because they will be playing a match against arch-rivals Pakistan on the day after tomorrow. Playing two back-to-back ODIs in such a weather is likely to test their fitness. Citing the same in mind, the management would be looking to rest at least a couple of key players, especially the ones who have come from England.
Below is India’s probable playing XI against Hong Kong:
1. Openers – Stand-in captain Rohit Sharma is likely to be accompanied by Lokesh Rahul against the new ball. Notwithstanding the fact that Shikhar Dhawan has been rock solid at the top of the order in ODIs, the 32-year old can be rested ahead of the match against Pakistan. Doing the same will also give India a chance to try another batsman in the middle-order.
2. Middle-order – Without regular captain Virat Kohli in the side, India will have two vacancies to fill in the middle-order. Manish Pandey and Dinesh Karthik are likely to bat at No. 3 and No. 4 in tomorrow’s match. One out of them can be given a go at No. 4 when Shikhar Dhawan returns for the second match against Pakistan. MS Dhoni, the most experienced player in the team, will be looking to let the other batsmen gain from his experience whilst rotating around him. The 37-year old wicket-keeper batsman must bat at No. 5 in the series.
3. All-rounders – In Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya, India will two players who have it in them to up the ante in the final overs and will comprise of the fifth bowling option. Given their ability to not take much time before using the long handle, they are the perfect fit for India to bat at No. 6 and 7 respectively. Having played in England, rest is not expected to come soon towards Pandya’s direction. A crucial all-round option against Pakistan, Pandya would be looking to stand tall on this increasing demands of his workload.
4. Bowlers – India have a strong first-choice bowling attack comprising of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. With Bumrah having played in the Test series against England, he is all in likeliness of being rested for tomorrow’s match. Shardul Thakur can come in as his replacement.