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USA Cricket’s Super 8s Struggles Highlight Need For Growth ‌

Dismal performances against England and others underscore challenges faced by USA's evolving team amidst newfound fan support.‌ ‌
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The USA’s impressive performance in the group stages garnered them a new wave of fans who travelled to the Caribbean, expecting another upset victory for the underdogs. Despite their dismal batting collapse, Jos Buttler’s five consecutive sixes against Harmeet Singh felt like daggers to the hearts of USA fans. After the USA was bowled out for 115, it was evident that England would exploit the opportunity to boost their net run rate.

Similar to the previous game against Shai Hope, a world-class batter dominated with USA bowlers unable to counter. The USA faced two crushing defeats within 36 hours, with opponents easily chasing down their low scores with about 10 overs to spare. This served as a stark reminder to both fans and the team of the high quality and consistent performance required at the top level of international cricket.

“There’s probably a lot of areas that we need to improve on. We are still an Associate nation, growing, trying to get a bigger player pool. Making it through the Super 8s was obviously a historic occasion for the USA, but we did want to show that we were worthy of being in that Super 8 and I thought in the first game against South Africa we did a really good job” said Corey Anderson in media reports.

“The last couple of games have just been not quite there, but that’s what happens in these Super 8 comps is the bigger boys start to really show up and they’re kind of hitting their stride right at the back end of this comp. The more we’ve played as well, the more footage they have on us, we’re a little bit unknown coming into the comp and that’s kind of part of cricket”

Aside from Andries Gous, who has emerged as a breakout star for the USA during the tournament, and Steven Taylor’s brief cameo against South Africa, USA batters struggled in the Super 8s. Excluding Gous, the top 6 batters collectively scored 191 runs off 206 deliveries in 3 innings, appearing out of their depth. On the bowling front, apart from Saurabh Netravalkar and Harmeet’s exceptional spells against South Africa, there was little to highlight. The USA’s bowling lacked sharpness and, at times, the team displayed a lack of enthusiasm when under pressure.

                The silver lining, however, was the unwavering belief shown by the fans. This in itself is quite an achievement. Fans who previously barely bothered to check a USA scorecard on their favourite cricket app went to the extent of flying many miles to the Caribbean, now unconcerned about the financial cost of supporting this eclectic team.

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