The India vs USA clash in T20 World Cup 2024 is expected to be historic from many angles. It’s the first time that the two teams square off on the international stage in the senior circuit. A number of USA players, who have impressed in the tournament so far, come from India and have also played for the national team’s junior sides in the past. Ahead of the Indo-US game in New York on Wednesday, the co-hosts trio Saurabh Netravalkar, Harmeet Singh and Monank Patel opened up on their Indian connection.

In a chat on Star Sports, Harmeet revealed that he and Rohit are from the same school. In fact, both made their First-Class debut together.

“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, Kuldeep, and Axar. It’ll be fun catching up and playing against them as well,” he said.

Netravalkar was duly congratulated by India’s Suryakumar Yadav after his heroics in the Super Over against Pakistan earned USA a win. The USA pacer has now revealed that the two have been good friends for quite a while.

“Suryakumar has been a close friend, actually. I’ve 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’m really happy for him. I’m excited to meet him, and it’s an opportunity to play not just against him but also against a lot of the guys we played with. I don’t know how to get Surya out, but I think I’ll just try to do my role, what the team needs me to do, and we’ll see how it goes,” said the seamer.

USA captain Monank Patel revealed that he played with Indian duo of Axar Patel and Jasprit Bumrah in the U19 and U15 sides.

“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’s a small town, and he has obviously motivated and encouraged a lot of youngsters from there. I’m happy to see them growing and playing good cricket,” he revealed.

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