Saurabh Netravalkar Revisits Reuniting With Old Friend Suryakumar Yadav
By CricShots - Jun 13, 2024 5:44 pm
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Saurabh Netravalkar, the Indian-born American pacer, has become a breakout star in the ongoing T20 World Cup. His impressive bowling spells, which even included dismissing former teammates Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, have been overshadowed by a heartwarming post-match reunion. Catching up with Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav after India’s victory showcased the enduring bond between these childhood friends.

Saurabh Netravalkar
Saurabh Netravalkar and Rohit Sharma

Despite India’s comfortable seven-wicket win thanks to Suryakumar Yadav’s half-century, the post-match scene was one of warm camaraderie. Netravalkar, who contributed significantly with figures of 2/18, shared a laugh-filled reunion with Rohit and Suryakumar.

“It was special,” Saurabh Netravalkar said during a media interaction. “We haven’t seen each other in over a decade, but it felt like picking right up where we left off. Jokes, casual conversations – just like the old days playing U-15 and U-17 together.”

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Reminiscing about their Mumbai days, Netravalkar spoke fondly of his senior teammate Rohit. “We played together in Mumbai. It was great catching up and sharing memories. Virat didn’t play much with me, but he still acknowledged our efforts. It’s good to know they see potential in this team.”

Balancing a demanding career at Oracle with his cricketing passion, the 32-year-old Netravalkar exemplifies dedication. His journey to the USA began with a scholarship to Cornell University, but his love for cricket never faded. Now, he finds himself a vital cog in the diverse American team, boasting talent from India, Pakistan, and the West Indies.

The World Cup has been a dream come true for Netravalkar. His crucial role in the USA’s Super Over victory against Pakistan was followed by a stellar performance against India. “It’s surreal,” he admitted, his voice reflecting a touch of disbelief. “Two high-profile games in a row, and we’ve done well as a unit. I’m happy just being myself, no matter the pressure.”

Suryakumar Yadav
Saurabh Netravalkar and Suryakumar Yadav

Saurabh Netravalkar’s approach to the game relies heavily on clarity and precise execution. “We focused on clear plans and process, not who we were facing or the outcome. Thankfully, my first spell went as planned,” he explained.

The unique two-paced drop-in pitch played a role in his success, allowing him to exploit its variations by maintaining accurate bowling.

“The pitch was crucial. As bowlers, we didn’t have to do much; just hit the right areas and let the pitch do the talking. Credit to the coaching staff for that strategy,” he said.

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Reminiscing about the now-famous dismissal of Kohli, Netravalkar spoke with humility. “That’s my standard delivery. I don’t want to reveal too much, but it was about hitting the top of the off-stump. It wasn’t a special plan or a wicket-taking attempt. Just a good ball that seamed nicely.”

Despite the demands of cricket, Netravalkar maintains a healthy work-life balance with his job at Oracle and other passions.

“I love Oracle and the thrill of bowling every ball. I’m fortunate to pursue my passions. That’s what matters,” he declared.

Netravalkar’s journey embodies resilience and unwavering passion. His dedication to the game has paved the way for remarkable achievements, a testament to the power of perseverance in the face of challenges. From childhood teammates to World Cup rivals, Netravalkar’s story highlights the enduring bonds forged through cricket and the unexpected turns life can take.