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The 33-year-old Anderson is set to make a comeback to international cricket after a hiatus of more than 5 years,

The 33-year-old Anderson is set to make a comeback to international cricket after a hiatus of more than 5 years, © Getty

Former Blackcaps allrounder Corey Anderson has been named in the 15 man USA squad for the 5 match T20I series against Canada. Anderson is one of the many fresh faces to be inducted in the USA squad as a slew of players who immigrated to America after the announcement of MLC now stand eligible to represent USA. The new inductions among them include former Harmeet Singh, Milind Kumar, Andries Gous, Shadley Van Schalkwyk and Nitish Kumar.

The 33-year-old Anderson is set to make a comeback to international cricket after a hiatus of more than 5 years, after having played his final game for NZ in November 2018. Anderson moved to America in 2020 and has been stellar in the domestic T20 competitions. Since his arrival to America Anderson has amassed over 900 runs in 28 innings striking at 146 in the Minor League (MiLC) and was the pick of the domestic batsmen in the MLC that included a whirlwind knock of 94 against a power packed MI New York.

Former India U19 fame Harmeet Singh has been rewarded for his relentless performances in domestic competitions, famously leading his MiLC team Seattle Thunderbolts to the silverware in 2022. Singh, then turned out to be the number 1 domestic draft pick in MLC history after being snapped by Seattle Orcas. His former team mate from the Thunderbolts, Andries Gous makes his way into the team on the back of prolific MiLC seasons and a few explosive knocks on the world stage in Abu Dhabi T10 and the ILT20. His countryman and pace bowling allrounder Shadley Van Schalkwyk has also been brought into the mix. Van Schalkwyk, a recipient of over 80 first class games in South Africa was one of the important cogs in the wheel for Singh’s triumphant Thunderbolts in 2022.

Former Delhi and RCB batsman Milind Kumar breaks into the squad owing to a consistent fine showing in the MiLC (over 1100 runs in 35 innings) and a couple of plucky knocks for the Texas Super Kings. Ex Canada captain Nitish Kumar is set to make an emotional return to international cricket against his former side after hopping over the border in 2021. Kumar is perceived as one of the surprise picks in the squad dodging some heavy competition from the likes of Unmukt Chand. While Kumar hasn’t really brought down the house in the MiLC, he makes the cut thanks to some quality knocks in the national T20 and the practice games scheduled in the training camp thereafter.

Among the incumbents, Monank Patel is set to lead the side alongside his deputy Aaron Jones. Big hitting Steven Taylor commanded his place in the side with a couple of brutal knocks in the national t20 and the practice games. 36 year old Gajanand Singh hangs onto his spot in the squad. Contrary to modern T20 playbook, USA also chose to go in with as many as 4 finger spinners. Nostush Kenjige returns to T20Is after 6 years. Allrounder Nisarg Patel and Usman Rafiq form the rest of the spin options. Ali Khan’s injury also means added work for old war horse Saurabh Netravalkar and Jessy Singh, forming the pace battery alongside Van Schalkwyk.

Chand may feel left out in the cold after 3 prolific MiLC seasons which saw him spiral runs for fun. With over 1500 runs in 45 innings, Chand stands at the top of the run charts in the history of the MiLC. After enduring a quite run at the National T20 and the first 3 practice games thereafter, Chand wrapped up the training camp with a 70 odd to stake his claim for selection. Similarly, the mystifying omission of Shayan Jahangir, the highest scorer in USA’s last assignment at the 50 Over World Cup Qualifiers and the first choice opener for MI New York is set to strike a nerve in the American cricket circles. It also seems increasingly likely that World Cup prospects of Shehan Jayasuriya, who was given the boot for failing the yo-yo test are all but over after being overlooked for training camp and the Canada series.

USA Squad: Monank Patel (captain), Aaron Jones (vice captain), Corey Anderson, Gajanand Singh, Jessy Singh, Saurabh Netravalkar, Nisarg Patel, Steven Taylor, Andries Gous, Harmeet Singh, Shadley Van Schalkwyk, Nostush Kenjige, Milind Kumar, Nitish Kumar, Usman Rafiq

© Cricbuzz

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