The fickle nature of Twenty20 cricket is such that a team of amateurs is feeling confident of challenging the best team in the world, while India are cautious and dodn’t want to take any team lightly in the clash against Hong Kong in the DP World Asia Cup at the Dubai International Stadium on Wednesday.
Hong Kong skipper Nizakat Khan feels confident of not repeating the mistakes against the Men In Blue and are ready give their best in the Group A clash.
“Any team can beat any team on their day in this format. We are prepared for this clash. Our job is to play good cricket and we showed that in Oman,” said Nizakat in a press conference on the eve of the clash against giants India.
It’s not without reason that the Hong Kong skipper is optimistic. When the two teams met in 2018, Hong Kong narrowly lost by 26 runs in the 50-over Asia cup in Dubai. Facing a target of 286, Nizakat led the chase with 92 and added 174 runs for the first wicket with skipper Anshy Rath, but the team lost the way once the pair was separated.
“This time we will not repeat the mistakes. The goal here is to do well in all departments,” asserted the 30-year-old all-rounder.
Hong Kong are in Group A after winning the qualifiers in Oman, that also included UAE. But the Asian minnows face an uphill task against India and Pakistan.
But Nizakat is looking at the positives of playing these two top Asian teams. “Winning and losing are part of the game, but playing our best is most important. It’s a massive opportunity for everyone playing India and Pakistan. We have a very young squad and this is a learning process for us,” he added.
Gap of opportunities
As an Associate Nation, the gap with the Test-playing Nations is big, but Nizakat feels the gap is the opportunities.
“We get less opportunities. We need to make sure we need to capitalise and show that we are good enough to play big teams,” he added.
Trent Johnson, former Ireland captain and current HK coach, said the 20 members of the team believe that can go out and do their best.
“It’s a combination of three months of hard work. We know we have a couple of levels to go up to play these teams in the next three days. We aim to play positive cricket as it’s a great opportunity to show the world how good HK cricket is.”
Ravindra Jadeja, the Indian all-rounder whose half-century was the cornerstone of India’s winning-chase against Pakistan on Sunday, says the team is guarded against complacency.
“We will look to play positive and give our best. We can’t take any team lightly in T20 and anything can happen on a given day,” he said.