Dubai: India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja insisted that the tournament favourites would not take anything for granted when they face minnows Hong Kong in the Asia Cup today.
Rohit Sharma’s men can book a spot in the Super Four stage with victory after a tense opening win over arch-rivals Pakistan.
The Hong Kong team is largely made up of expats, led by Pakistan-born captain Nizakat Khan.
Hong Kong, with a population of 7.5 million, will face powerhouse India, a cricket-mad country of 1.4 billion people, in a T20 international for the first time.
“Definitely we are going to play with a positive mindset and we are not going to take them lightly because in T20 on a given day anything could happen,” Jadeja told reporters.
“So will look to play positive cricket and give our best.”
India justified their favourites tag in the six-nation tournament, which acts as a tune-up to the T20 World Cup in October-November, after they edged out Pakistan in Dubai and need just one more win to make the next stage from Group A.
Jadeja, hitting 35 with the bat, played a key role in India’s victory as they chased down a target of 148 with two balls to spare.
His 52-run fifth-wicket partnership with Hardik Pandya, who made an unbeaten 33, proved crucial.
“If a team has so many options then they are bound to play freely and the opposition will feel the pressure,” said Jadeja.
“And we have the kind of batting line-up that can tackle any situation.”
Hong Kong, an associate cricket nation, made the main draw by winning all their qualifying matches against the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Singapore.
Nizakat, a 30-year-old all-rounder, said this tournament provides his side a massive opportunity to learn from the heavyweights.
“Playing against India and Pakistan is a massive opportunity,” Nizakat, who sat alongside head coach and former Ireland captain Trent Johnston, told reporters.
“We need to make sure we learn from them (big teams). We have a nice squad and this is a learning process for us.”