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Asia Cup 2022: Match 4, IND vs HK match predictions - Can Hong Kong surprise the champions?

Asia Cup 2022: Match 4, IND vs HK match predictions – Can Hong Kong surprise the champions?

August 31, 2022

Hong Kong last played against India in the 2018 Asia Cup and almost pulled off an upset. Back then, it was an ODI tournament. On that day, Hong Kong openers Nizakat Khan and Anshuman Rath went on to add 174 runs to record the second-highest opening stand in a losing run chase.

The big picture

Hong Kong’s current openers, Yasim Murtaza and captain Nizakat Khan, have been in prime form since the qualifiers stage. The duo has added 219 runs at a Strike Rate of 115.87 and has done the bulk of Hong Kong’s scoring in the 2022 Asia Cup so far. Ehsan Khan has been the pick of the bowlers for them, having picked up 9 wickets in three matches with an Economy Rate of 6.75 runs per over. The Hong Kong team are packed with a variety of bowlers, but they do lack a genuine quick bowler, which is a weapon they would have liked to have on their side to surprise a star-studded Indian batting line-up. Their middle order is probably their weakest link and is expected to crumple against a strong Indian bowling attack. The Hong Kong head coach, former Ireland captain Trent Johnston, has been a part of a couple of upsets on a bigger stage back in his playing days. Johnston had the privilege of hitting the finishing runs against Pakistan in the 2007 ODI World Cup and also led Ireland to a win over Bangladesh in the same campaign. 

Team India, on the other hand, look calm and composed. A win over their arch-rivals Pakistan has boosted their confidence. More importantly, Virat Kohli looked in good touch, which is a great sign for Indian cricket in general. KL Rahul’s short stay at the wicket has put a question mark at the opening spot, though, however, the team management will roll him another opportunity to spend time on the wicket.  Hardik Pandya was in exceptional form against Pakistan with both the bat and the bowl, though he may not even get an opportunity to bat on Wednesday. India will be tempted to make a few changes to the playing XI to test their bench strength as they will likely play against Pakistan again on the coming Sunday. India were also found guilty of a slow over-rate in their last match, mainly due to delays brought in due to scorching conditions. Having an extra fielder inside the 30-yards circle during the death overs can prove extremely costly, so they need to find a permanent solution ahead of the T20I World Cup. 

Match details

Match: India vs Hong Kong

Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium

Date: 31 August 2022

Time: 07:30 PM IST

Where to Watch: Star Sports Network | Disney+ Hotstar

Pitch report & Toss

Surprisingly, there has been no dew in Dubai. This nullifies the toss advantage. Dubai International Cricket Stadium (DSC) pitch curator Tony Hemming has transformed the wickets completely; Wednesday’s match will be on a fresh new wicket. A new surface will produce more bounce and seam movement. The side winning the toss will not hesitate to bowl first, especially if they see some green grass on the pitch. Good bounce and pace will help the batters in stroke-making, so 160 looks to be a par score.

Probable playing XIs

Hong Kong: Nizakat Khan (c), Babar Hayat, Yasmin Murtaza, Kinchit Shah, Scott McKechnie (wk), Haroon Arshad, Aizaz Khan, Zeeshan Ali, Ehsan Khan, Ayush Shukla, Mohammad Ghazanfar

India: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant (wk), Deepak Hooda, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh

Head-to-head

Matches Played: 2

Won by India: 2

Won by Hong Kong: 0

Clean hitters

Hong Kong: Nizakat Khan, Babar Hayat, Kinchit Shah

India: Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Deepak Hooda, Hardik Pandya

Death-over bowlers

Hong Kong: Ehsan Khan, Haroon Arshad, Kinchit Shah

India: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan

Fantasy team

Scott McKechnie, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Babar Hayat, Nizakat Khan, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Ehsan Khan, Arshdeep Singh

Captain & Vice-captain choices

Captain: Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, 

Vice Captain: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Nizakat Khan

Prediction

Fast bowlers will enjoy pace, bounce and seam movement. India will most likely prove too spicy for Hong Kong to handle; if they win the toss and bowl, Hong Kong may struggle to post a target in excess of 100. I am expecting India to have a walk in the park and book themselves a Super Four spot.

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