‘Suddenly you see Rohit Sharma at toss…’: USA's Indian-origin players have mixed feelings before World Cup match | Crickit

‘Suddenly you see Rohit Sharma at toss…’: USA's Indian-origin players have mixed feelings before World Cup match

Jun 12, 2024 06:25 PM IST

India vs USA: United States' Indian-origin players will have mixed feelings during the T20 World Cup match in New York.

As many as seven players in the USA T20 World Cup squadare either born in India or have grown up here. Two of them - Saurabh Netravalkar and Harmeet Singh have even represented India at the U19 World Cup. Batter Milind Kumar has played over 100 first-class and List-A games for Delhi and Sikkim. The others - left-arm spinner Nosthush Kenjige, captain Monank Patel, fast bowler Jasdeep Singh, and left-arm spinner Nisarg Patel- have played age-group or club-level cricket in India.

Nosthush Kenjige (C) of the United States celebrates with captain Monank Patel(AFP)
Nosthush Kenjige (C) of the United States celebrates with captain Monank Patel(AFP)

They have played a huge role in making the USA a side to reckon with. USA have already made heads turn at this T20 World Cup by beating Canada and Pakistan. They are sitting at the second spot in Group A and need to win one of their remaining two group games to qualify for the Super 8 stage in the West Indies. Their next opponent, India, will be a different ballgame altogether. Not just because they are the strongest team in the group and one of the contenders to lift the trophy but also because many of the USA squad members once harboured the dream of representing India at this level.

"Team India, welcome to the United States of America. If we play our best game, we can sort of compete against top cricketers. So we'll try to take one game at a time and not get overwhelmed by the star-studded team players and try to bowl to a batsman or bat against a bowler. We'll try to keep it simple," said Netravalkar.

"You dream about this kind of thing and suddenly you see yourself with Rohit Sharma on the toss time. It's unreal. It'll be a high-pressure game. Honestly, we don't want to focus too much from right now. We want to play the brand of cricket. We want to play against all the teams," said USA's Gujarat-born captain Monank Patel.

"Growing up, I used to look up at Rohit Sharma. Rohit comes from my school. I'll take things as it comes. Sanju Samson and Kuldeep Yadav, I have played under 19 with them in India. Axar Patel, I've played with him as well. So, it'll be fun catching up and playing against as well," said Harmeet Singh.

"Obviously, we look forward. When we grew up, we were looking forward to play for the country, but things changed, and now we are playing against them. But on the ground, there are no friends. you're there to win," said Milind Kumar.

"When I was in India, I wanted to put on the Indian jersey, but as you grow up and life happens to you, you just move to a different country. And now the next best thing you can do is play against India. So I would take this anyway ten out of ten times. I think it's a massive opportunity as a kid growing up, you want to be in the World Cup, sits here. So, yeah, I think nothing to be more just looking forward to it," said Nosthush Kenjige.

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