Two games and two wins for both the USA and India. Surprised? 

Yes, the home team has been on a roll in the T20 World Cup. They defeated Canada in their opener and pulled off a major upset by defeating Pakistan in the Super Over to top the table at that stage. 

Today, they have their sights on another major target: India. We started the tournament with a comfortable victory over Ireland, and made an exceptional comeback against Pakistan while defending 119. Jasprit Bumrah breathed fire taking 3 wickets for just 14 runs. Alongwith Arshdeep Singh, Hardik Pandya and Axar Patel, we managed to defeat the archrivals by 6 runs. 

Tonight’s match is crucial as the winner confirms a berth in the Super 8 stage. Both sides have delivered stand-out performances. We take a look at some key battles:

Rohit Sharma vs Saurabh Netravalkar

It’s safe to call this a Battle of the Mumbai boys. Both Rohit Sharma and Saurabh Netravalkar hail from Mumbai. Netravalkar’s roots are in Malad, a suburb in Mumbai, and this clash of Mumbai “locals” will certainly be one to watch out for.

Rohit Sharma, known for his destructive batting, will be looking to make a significant impact in the upcoming game. Saurabh Netravalkar, on the other hand, has been in good form. He was brilliant against Pakistan, especially in the Super Over where he defended 18 runs.

Historically, he has been dismissed 9 times by left-arm pacers in T20 World Cups – a weakness Netravalkar would like to exploit.

Virat Kohli vs Ali Khan

Kohli has been short of runs in this World Cup so far, while Ali Khan was terrific in the game against Pakistan, dismissing Fakhar Zaman and bowling well in the death overs.

He has built a reputation as a reliable bowler in the leagues he has played, and will be eyeing Virat Kohli as his next big target. It won’t be an easy task, though, as Kohli is one of the greatest batters of this generation, if not the greatest. Also, Ali Khan has a smooth and slinky bowling action, which almost resembles the great Waqar Younis from Pakistan. His battle with Virat Kohli will also be mouth-watering, so keep an eye on that one too.

Jasprit Bumrah vs Aaron Jones

Aaron Jones has been the best performer for the USA in this tournament. He scored 94 runs off just 40 balls against Canada, played brilliantly against Pakistan taking the game to the Super Over.

Tonight, he will be up against Jasprit Bumrah, currently the best bowler in T20s, a test he would like to ace. Bumrah has already won two Player of the Match awards in this tournament and can often be unplayable.

This is one mouth-watering battle to watch in this game.

Hardik Pandya vs Corey Anderson

Hardik Pandya has been in brilliant form with the ball so far. He picked up three wickets in the game against Ireland and followed it up with two more against Pakistan. Corey Anderson, who switched from New Zealand to play for the USA, hasn’t had many opportunities to bat in this World Cup, but he is a dangerous batter.

Hardik Pandya and Corey Anderson have faced each other before. Pandya has hit 12 runs off Anderson’s bowling, but neither has been able to dismiss the other. With Anderson batting in the middle order, it will be interesting to see what approach he takes against Pandya on a tough New York pitch.

Keeping all the Patel brothers and NRI cousin jokes aside, tonight, all eyes will be on those coveted 2 points that will cement a Super 8 spot, as we play our final game in New York.