Asia Cup: Discussion points as dismal India pip Hong Kong
Minnows Hong Kong were about to rewrite history, against India, in the ongoing Asia Cup 2018. Anshuman Rath's side produced a spirited show against an over-confident India and fell short by a paltry 26 runs in the end. India survived a scare ahead of their mouth-watering clash against Pakistan today. Here are the key discussion points.
India took Hong Kong lightly
Shikhar Dhawan stated after the match that, "We didn't expect them to score a 174-run partnership." This sums up the mentality India went into the game against Hong Kong. They took them lightly and if not for the spinners, then the side would have suffered a new low in their cricket history. Hong Kong just lacked the experience to finish the game.
Rath, Nizakat deserve the plaudits for their performances
It will be a day to remember for the opening duo of Rath and Nizakat Khan. The Hong Kong openers shared a dream 174-run stand. The manner in which they played and approached the chase, gave us an indication that this side can achieve a lot in world cricket. They kept the tempo flowing and batted beautifully. Rath scored 73 as Nizakat smashed 92.
Shardul Thakur a misfit in the Indian side
Every day, the questions gains depth that what's Thakur doing in the India squad. When you look at the quality of pacers India have in their ranks, Thakur is way below the pecking order. He conceded 41 runs at an economy of 10.25 and the openers welcomed his inconsistency and poor line and length. The selectors overlooking Umesh Yadav was a glaring mistake.
India's wrist spinners do the rescue act
The wrist spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, as expected, showed their class. The duo picked 5 wickets between them and that hurt Hong Kong. On several occasions, the middle order couldn't pick Kuldeep's variations. If not for these two, India would have lost the game. A shout goes out to debutant Khaleel Ahmed. His 3/48 was pivotal in the match.
Dhoni a let down in an otherwise decent batting show
Comeback men Ambati Rayudu (60) and Kedar Jadhav (28*) will feel confident after a spirited show with the bat. But veteran wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni was a let down. Dhoni got out for a 3-ball duck and couldn't make use of the platform to get India a big total. Shikhar Dhawan played a solid innings (127) and kept his ODI form going.