“Will be emotional moment for me”: USA quick Saurabh Netravalkar on reuniting with former India teammates

Saurabh Netravalkar

NEW YORK: USA pacer Saurabh Netravalkar disclosed that reuniting with the Indian players, he played alongside in his youth will be an “emotional” moment for him.

Born in Mumbai, Netravalkar was a part of the Indian youth setup. He featured for the India Under-19 team alongside Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul and many more stars.

He also shared the field with the dynamic T20I batter Suryakumar Yadav when he played in the Under-15 team.

After pulling off victories against Canada and Pakistan in the ongoing T20 World Cup, the USA are close to a spot in the Super 8 stage.

Netravalkar who picked up 2-18 and bowled the critical super over that gave the USA the win over Pakistan says it was a special feeling to perform well against a top side.

“It’s a very special feeling for everyone. We have worked hard for the tournament…Frankly speaking, we did not think that we would win. We only thought of giving our best…What I had in mind was to keep the process simple, I had seen their bowling too, so I went in with a similar plan,” he said

“The conditions are very unpredictable here. The new stadiums, including the one in New York which has been built for the event – we don’t know how it would turn out. We have not played there. We played on the Dallas pitch last year in a major league. So, we were aware of that pitch. It is a little good for batting. But the wicket slows down a little in the morning…So, we had a little advantage of playing there earlier. We knew what we had to do,” he added.

On their quest to the knockout stage, India will be their next challenge. Netravalkar talked about what it means for him to face his former side and meet his former teammates.

“India is one of the top teams in the world. So, obviously, we will get to watch and learn how they play, and how they approach. I had played with a few players in the team (Team India) in my youth – like Suryakumar Yadav. We played together since U15. So, it would feel good to meet them. I am happy for them. It would also be an emotional moment for me. It would be a good challenge for us,” Netravalkar told ANI.

When players return to play against their former side, nerves are likely to kick in. The emotion and the atmosphere associated with the match differ from every single game.

But for Netravalkar, his focus is on the role he is supposed to play for the USA and enjoy the game.

“My focus would be to see what is my role in this team (Team USA). I will give my best for my team and I will try to execute my plan and also enjoy my game,” he added.

The USA will face India in the Group A clash at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

USA team: Monank Patel (c), Aaron Jones, Andries Gous, Corey Anderson, Ali Khan, Harmeet Singh, Jessy Singh, Milind Kumar, Nisarg Patel, Nitish Kumar, Noshtush Kenjige, Saurabh Nethralvakar, Shadley Van Schalkwyk, Steven Taylor, Shayan Jahangir. Reserve Players: Gajanand Singh, Juanoy Drysdale, Yasir Mohammad.

India team: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Siraj.

Reserves: Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Khaleel Ahmed, Avesh Khan. (ANI)

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