Underdog Hong Kong won the toss and elected to field against mighty India in the Asia Cup on Wednesday.
Hong Kong qualified for the Asia Cup after winning all three of its games in Oman, including against its favourite United Arab Emirates.
“In Oman, we were good chasers, so we wanted to do that,” Hong Kong skipper Nizakat Khan said at the toss. “Last time, we had a good game against India, and we want to do the same.”
Nizakat was referring to the Asia Cup game between the two countries when India won a hard-fought group game by 26 runs at the same Dubai International Stadium four years ago. However, that tournament was played in the ODI format.
India defeated arch-rival Pakistan in its opening Group A game, and victory on Wednesday will lift it to the group’s top, going into the Super 4 stage.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya, who played a pivotal role in India’s win over Pakistan, was rested, and wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant was included in the playing XI.
Reacting to India’s decision to rest the all-rounder, former India player Gautam Gambhir said it was a good call considering Hardik’s injury and the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia.
“They have done the right thing by resting him as he has returned from a long injury, and the team needs him for the ICC T20 World 2022 in Australia. The management has done well by taking care of his workload,” said Gambhir.
Afghanistan has already made it to the Super 4 stage from Group B, defeating both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh
Hong Kong: Nizakat Khan (captain), Babar Hayat, Yasim Murtaza, Kinchit Shah, Scott McKechnie, Haroon Arshad, Aizaz Khan, Zeeshan Ali, Ehsan Khan, Ayush Shukla, Mohammad Ghazanfar