Battle Of Borivali In New York: With Mumbai Cricket Running In Their Blood, Saurabh Netravalkar & Harmeet Singh Give India A Run For Their Money in T20 WC

Battle Of Borivali In New York: With Mumbai Cricket Running In Their Blood, Saurabh Netravalkar & Harmeet Singh Give India A Run For Their Money in T20 WC

Saurabhb Netravalkar and Rohit Sharma went to Payyade Sports Club in Kandivali at different times in their careers while Harmeet Singh studied at the same school with the Indian captain, and they were coached by the well-known Mumbai coach Dinesh Lad.

Haridev PushparajUpdated: Thursday, June 13, 2024, 02:21 PM IST
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The much anticipated India vs USA showdown was at Nassau County Cricket Stadium in New York but for Indians living in India, this could well have been a match in Mumbai.

And more precisely, in Borivali and Kandivali.

When Saurabh Netravalkar got the back of Indian skipper Rohit Sharma cheaply caught by Harmeet Singh at mid-off, the Borivali-Kandivali connection was complete.

Local Connections on the Global Stage

Saurabhb Netravalkar and Rohit Sharma went to Payyade Sports Club in Kandivali at different times in their careers while Harmeet Singh studied at the same school with the Indian captain, and they were coached by the well-known Mumbaikar Dinesh Lad.

With such deep-rooted links with India, Mumbai and it's western suburbs, it's not surprising in the least that Netravalkar had India on the mat at 10/2 plucking Virat Kohli and Rohit.

Netravalkar Makes Big Impact Again

It's not a common occurrence for Kohli to walk back to pavilion with a golden duck but Netravalkar will count this as his most prized possession. An Indian-origin bowler with tremendous depth of knowledge about the big fish in the Indian team and also add Suryakumar Yadav to Kohli and Rohit's list.

Netravalkar's time with Suryakumar during their Mumbai under-15 days, and thereafter in the Ranji set-up, has certainly helped him understand the strengths and opportunities of the famed Indian 360.

The Unexpected Challenge

The USA gave India a much tougher fight than what was expected and credit goes to the likes of Netravalkar, Harmeet & Co.

If the catches and half-chances were taken, the match could have gone deeper than it eventually did. Especially, the Netravalkar dropped chance to give Suryakumar a life could well have been the turning point in the game for the USA and India as well.

Netravalkar Creates His Own 'Opportunities'

Apparently, almost 10 years back, Suryakumar had tweeted tagging Netravalkar saying "Opportunities do not happen. You create them." On Wednesday at the Nassau County stadium, Netravalkar executed his plans to perfection with the know-how he possessed of the Indian batters.

It was the grand culmination of the umpteen opportunities he had created for himself ever since he left the shores of India for greener pastures.

And what a way and what an incredible platform to showcase your wares than a game against the mighty Indian team in front of their teeming fans in the 'Big Apple'.

India would never take the USA lightly ever again if they face them again in this tournament or henceforth, anytime in the future.

Giant-Killer Alert

The American players, or should we say Indian-Americans who are shining bright, are punching way above their weight and giving the big boys of world cricket a run for their money. The emergence and resilience of USA on the world stage augurs well for cricket as a whole with the ICC seeking to expand the game to a wider audience and newer markets.

And nothing like testing the waters of the American market with the T20 World Cup, and the performance of the USA team aided by their Indian-origin players with deep connections to their roots.

This is the coming off age of USA cricket and yet only just the beginning for them. For Team India, this is a wake up call to get their act together before sterner tests await in the Super Eights.

And last but not the least, for the BCCI, the performance of the USA team and the reception for the T20 World Cup provides them a sneak peek into the possibilities of the future in the giant American market with a large Indian diaspora.

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