India vs USA: Mumbai Players Common Thread in T20 World Cup Opponents – News18

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New York, United States of America (USA)

(From left) Saurabh Netravalkar, Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav (AP Photo)

(From left) Saurabh Netravalkar, Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav (AP Photo)

Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Shivam Dube, Saurabh Netravalkar and Harmeet Singh began their cricket journey from the streets of Mumbai.

Around 7,800 miles away Mumbai, India faced T20 World Cup debutant United States of America in the ‘Big Apple’ in their third match of the competition. And there was a heavy Mumbai flavour involved with as many as five players from the two teams tracing their origins to India’s Maximum City.

Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav and Shivam Dube (all three representing India) while Saurabh Netravalkar and Harmeet Singh (both representing USA) created a mini reunion of sorts as the former schoolmates cum roommates cum teammates cum friends are all Mumbaikars who went on to become international cricketers.

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Rohit, Saurabh and Harmeet represented India at the Under-19 cricket world cups before graduating to the senior level cricket.

While Rohit, Suryakumar and Shivam realised their dream to represent India at the international level, Saurabh and Harmeet flew to USA and eventually qualified to represent the country in international cricket.

Both Rohit and Saurabh played for the famous The Payyade Sports club of Mumbai.

Interestingly, both Rohit and Harmeet went to the same school in Borivali and were trained by Dinesh Lad.

Armed with an engineering degree in Computer Science, the academically brilliant Saurabh got a scholarship to pursue his MS from Cornell University. However, cricket never left him and soon he made a name for himself in USA and produced a decent show in Major League Cricket last year.

“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,” Saurabh said on Star Sports.

“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.

Allrounder Harmeet, who played for India at the 2012 U-19 World Cup, looked up to Rohit when growing up. He migrated to USA after not finding success as a cricketer in India.

“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 will be fun catching up and playing against them as well,” he said.

After India defeated USA by seven wickets on Wednesday, Rohit praised his former colleagues with whom he still shares a good rapport.

“Lot of these guys have played cricket together, very happy to see their progress. Saw them last year in MLC as well, they are all hard-working guys,” he said.

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