After Pak, show vs Ind bodes well for USA

Given the great opportunity on offer, they need to improve quite a bit to make their presence felt by the time the Olympics come calling.
India’s Arshdeep Singh (R) took 4/9 against United States on Wednesday
India’s Arshdeep Singh (R) took 4/9 against United States on Wednesday(Photo | AP)

CHENNAI: Cricket’s return to the Olympics for the 2028 Los Angeles Games was confirmed last year during the International Olympic Committee’s executive board meeting in Mumbai. With a provision for the hosts to feature in the Games, the USA cricket team can dream of competing in the world’s biggest sporting extravaganza in front of its home crowd four years down the line.

Given the great opportunity on offer, they need to improve quite a bit to make their presence felt by the time the Olympics come calling. And what else can prepare them for the bigger challenges lying ahead than the T20 World Cup? Making their debut in the event jointly hosted by the West Indies, the USA have already impressed all and sundry with their prolific show in the first couple of matches wherein they registered a huge upset victory over Pakistan. It will be too early to predict their future as far as the Olympics are concerned. But one thing is sure — they need the opportunity to face high quality opponents frequently to leave their mark on the cricketing landscape.

With the USA earning a historic win against Pakistan, their match against heavyweights India on Wednesday was yet another chance for them to take a giant leap forward. Despite them facing the World No 1 side in T20Is for the first time, they managed to fare better scoring 110 for eight in 20 overs. What made the otherwise below-par total admirable was the fact that they lost their opener Shayan Jahangir for a naught off the very first ball before being reduced to three for two in the first over bowled by Arshdeep Singh.

They should also be credited as they did not give wickets to India’s premier pacer Jasprit Bumrah. Arshdeep was the pick of the bowlers for India with figures of 4/9 from four overs. Although Suryakumar Yadav (50 n.o) and Shivam Dube (31 n.o) guided India home, USA showed enough promise to test the opponents early on. And their steely resolve was enough to highlight what they can achieve in the future. Brief scores: USA 110/8 in 20 ovs (Nitish 27, Taylor 24; Arshdeep 4/9) lost to India 111/3 in 18.2 ovs (Yadav 50 n.o, Dube 31 n.o).

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