Devbrat Patnaik

It's Rath Vs Hitman Rohit today at the Unimoni Asia Cup 2018 Championship as Hong Kong, who have come up the ranks, will face the defending Champions India in their second group match. While million eyes would be waiting to see the Rohit Sharma-led India kick-start its campaign with a thumping win, many others would be desperate to see Odia boy Anshuman Rath, captain of the Hong Kong team, who says his team can’t be underestimated.

In an interview before the start of the tournament, Rath said, “We have put in the hard work and we deserve to be here. Obviously India-Pakistan is a tough group but we are just going to go out there and enjoy. It's not every day we get to play against the top teams in white ball cricket and we are going to enjoy and embrace every moment of it to play our level best.”

The 20-year-old captain, better known as Anshy, is a wicketkeeper-batsman, who can also bowl slow left-arm orthodox.

His parents hail from Satyanagar in Bhubaneswar but shifted to Hong Kong in the 90s for work and eventually settled there.

Though Anshy is born in Hong Kong, he has a special bonding with India, the food here and the players of the Indian cricket team.

He further says, “I grew up watching  Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni play. So for me it's going to be hard not to smile. But at the end of the day, I have to put up a battle professionally.”

In December 2017, he scored his first century in an ODI match, when he made 143 not out against Papua New Guinea in the 2015–17 ICC World Cricket League Championship. It was also the highest individual score by a Hong Kong batsman in an ODI match. He finished as the leading run-scorer in the 2015–17 ICC World Cricket League Championship, with a total of 678 runs from 10 matches.

In August 2018, he was named the vice-captain of Hong Kong's squad for the 2018 Asia Cup Qualifier tournament and was subsequently named the captain of the squad.

India on the other hand, under Rohit Sharma's captaincy and with experienced MS Dhoni in their ranks, will look to get their combination right in the first game before they meet Pakistan  - a match on which all eyes will rest.


India: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, K.L. Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, M.S. Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shardul Thakur, Dinesh Karthik, Khaleel Ahmed.
Hong Kong: Anshuman Rath (Captain), Aizaz Khan, Babar Hayat, Cameron McAulson, Christopher Carter, Ehsan Khan, Ehsan Nawaz, Arshad Mohammed, Kinchit Shah, Nadeem Ahmed, Raag Kapur, Scott McKehnie, Tanvir Ahmed, Tanvir Afzal, Waqas Khan, Aftab Hussain.