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Schoolmates, U19 Champs: USA players recall Indian connections

Source: ANI
Last updated on: June 12, 2024 16:24 IST
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USA cricketers Saurabh, Harmeet open up on connection with Indian stars ahead of T20 WC clash

Saurabh Netravalkar

IMAGE: Saurabh Netravalkar opened up on his bond with Suryakumar Yadav. Photograph: Kind courtesy ICC/X

Ahead of his side's ICC T20 World Cup game against India, USA pacer Saurabh Netravalkar has opened up on his bond with India's number-one ranked T20I batter Suryakumar Yadav, saying that their bond goes back to U15 days when they played together for Mumbai.


India will play USA in their third Group A game of the T20 World Cup at the Nassau County International Stadium on Wednesday. In their previous game, India had defeated Pakistan in a low-scoring thriller by six runs. USA's last game also saw them beat Pakistan in the Super Over after the match ended in a tie. India is at the top of the group with two wins in two games and four points.

The USA is in second place with the same win-loss record and four points, though their net run rate is inferior.

Speaking exclusively to Star Sports, USA Bowler Saurabh Netravalkar, who represented Mumbai and Indian U19 team before his debut for USA in 2019, talked about his equation with Suryakumar, saying, "Suryakumar has been a close friend, actually. I have seen him since our under-15 days; we kind of grew up playing for Mumbai together. He was always special, scoring double hundreds and stuff in under-15 and under-17 matches. So, he had that flair about him, and we knew he would go on to do something special."

"He got a chance to play for India later than I expected, but I am really happy for him. I am excited to meet him, and it is an opportunity to play not just against him but also against a lot of the guys we played with. I do not know how to get Surya out, but I think I will just try to do my role, what the team needs me to do, and we will see how it goes," he added.

Harmeet Singh

IMAGE: Harmeet Singh talked about that he looked up to Indian skipper Rohit Sharma growing up and they both attended the same school. Photograph: Kind courtesy ICC/X

USA all-rounder Harmeet Singh, who also played the U19 World Cup for India, also talked about that he looked up to Indian skipper Rohit Sharma growing up and they both attended the same school. He also talked about how they made their first-class debut together for Mumbai.

"Growing up, I used to look up to Rohit Sharma. Rohit comes from my school, and he had just graduated when I entered. I made my first-class debut with him, and he played in the under-19 World Cup a few tournaments before me. It was really exciting to see someone from the suburbs of Mumbai going out there and conquering the world. In Bombay, it was all about the beyond Bandra schools and cricketers, but Rohit started that in the suburbs, and from there we all followed. Some other guys I have played under-19 India with are Sanju (Samson), Kuldeep (Yadav), and Axar (Patel). It will be fun catching up and playing against them as well."

USA Captain Monank Patel also talked about his connection with India all-rounder Axar Patel, saying, "I have played with Axar and Bumrah in under-19 and under-15 matches. Axar comes from the same town where I am from. It is a small town, and he has obviously motivated and encouraged a lot of youngsters from there. I am happy to see them growing and playing good cricket."

USA All-Rounder Corey Anderson, who once played for New Zealand, shared his thoughts on how excited he is to face Jasprit Bumrah in the upcoming match.

He said, "I have got a bit of a soft spot for Bumrah. I think I was at Mumbai when he was first introduced to MI, and watching him develop from this raw natural talent to one of the best bowlers in the world has been amazing. It is cool to see that progress throughout because you see the things they talk about early in their careers, and how they gain experience. To watch him reach his potential is awesome. We are obviously going to come up against him, and he can do some serious damage. I think it is going to be extremely exciting to face him as well."

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Source: ANI

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