Asia Cup 2018: Pakistan's Usman Khan targets five wickets against India

Ajit Vijaykumar 22:43 16/09/2018
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Pakistan pacer Usman Khan.

Pakistan left-arm fast bowler Usman Khan starred with the ball as he picked up three wickets for 19 runs on a slow Dubai surface against Hong Kong in his team’s Asia Cup opener on Sunday.

While the result in itself was never in doubt with Pakistan winning by eight wickets chasing 117 inside 25 overs, the focus was on the players ahead of the all-important clash against India at the same venue on Wednesday.

Usman is also concentrating on that match as it will be first clash between the two countries since Pakistan’s thumping win in the Champions Trophy final last year. And the left-arm quick is aiming for five wickets.

“Whoever performs in India-Pakistan match, his career goes to a new level. I took three wickets today, hope to take five wickets against India,” Usman said after the match-winning effort with the ball against Hong Kong.

India are not in the best of form with all their players yet to train together consistently in the UAE heat. But Usman said India are a top-class team and can’t be taken lightly.

“India is the number one team. They have very good players. It’s a big match. We prepared 100 per cent. We had a long training camp in Lahore. I saw India train, they are preparing well also.”

Pakistan have been playing in the UAE for nearly a decade and the country is like a second home for them. The left-arm quick admitted it gives the men in green a big advantage.

“Playing in UAE is an advantage over India. We are used to pitches and ground. It’s a home ground for us,” the 24-year-old said.

The pacer added the wicket in Dubai this time is behaving differently and taking wickets on it will be an issue.

“Today’s wicket was very slow. I was trying to bowl with pace. I was going for wickets with new ball. In second spell, the pitch was such that ball deteriorated and I was getting reverse swing and thus got wickets.

“This looks like such an old pitch. Very slow. Bowling is difficult on this. If you hit the length hard, you can get wickets,” he added.

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