India vs Hong Kong: India’s Probable Playing XI for the 1st Asia Cup Match

The Asia cup is on the horizon and the favourite taglines have started trending. 6 times champion, India, always begin every multinational tournament as the farm favourite. Though the absence of Virat Kohli will certainly boost the confidence of the other teams. The newly resurrected Pakistan and Bangladesh could possibly derail the defending champion. With balanced player profiles for both sides, Pakistan and Bangladesh are in the same boat as India. The dark horse of the tournament is undoubtedly Afghanistan with their staggering growth rate. 5-time champions Sri Lanka are currently in hibernation. Nonetheless, they are looking to clinch their 6th title.

Let’s analyse India’s probable playing XI for the first match against Hong Kong in Asia Cup.

The dynamic duo Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan will open the Indian batting line-up as usual. Though they recently struggled against England in the swinging conditions, we are hopeful of stellar performances on their part in the pitches of UAE, which do not offer much seam movement.

There is a huge probability that KL Rahul will fill the void left by Virat Kohli. The middle order will rotate between Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayudu and Kedar Jadhav. The former two definitely have the upper hand due to their recent form in ODIs.

MS Dhoni will remain in the side as a solitary wicket keeper and batsman.

Hardik Pandya would definitely want to forget the disastrous tour of England and completely focus on his preferred formats of cricket like ODI and T20. As the only all-rounder in the team, Hardik will need to play the part of the 5th bowler. The opportunity is up for grabs to display his prowess in a big tournament after the failure in England.

The spin-duo Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal will fancy themselves to bowl in the spin friendly pitches in UAE. They are without a doubt, India’s greatest asset in the Asia cup.

With new faces in the fast bowling department and Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s comeback after injury lay off, India will be a force to reckon with in the Asia cup. The death over specialists, Bumrah and Bhuvi will be raring to go after the disappointment in England.

So, the final provisional squad for the 1st match against Hong Kong will be,

1. Rohit Sharma (Captain)

2. Shikhar Dhawan

3. Lokesh Rahul

4. Manish Pandey

5. Dinesh Karthik

6. MS Dhoni (Wicket-Keeper)

7. Hardik Pandya

8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar

9. Kuldeep Yadav

10. Yuzvendra Chahal

11. Jasprit Bumrah

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