Teenagers Jariwala, Vaghela named in USA squad for Ireland series at home

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Jariwala has been given a place in the ODI squad only while Vaghela has been included in both the ODI and T20I squads

Wicketkeeper Rahul Jariwala and left-arm spinner Vatsal Vaghela have been given their maiden senior team call-ups in USA’s squads to take on Ireland later this month in Florida for what will be USA’s first series on home soil against a Test nation. Seventeen-year-old Jariwala and 19-year-old Vaghela both hail from the East Bay of Northern California and excelled at the recent USA men’s 50-over National Championships held last month in Texas.

Jariwala finished the Texas event as the leading scorer with 251 runs including two centuries for the USA U-19 squad, which was included in the event alongside seven men’s teams. He has been given a place in the ODI squad only. Vaghela, who has been included in both the T20I and ODI squads, took seven wickets for the eventual 50-over national champion West Zone Reds squad and was one of the top wicket-takers throughout the summer in the T20 format as well while playing for Golden State Grizzlies in the inaugural season of the Minor League Cricket franchise competition. Both Jariwala and Vaghela were also team-mates in the USA U-19 squad at U-19 World Cup qualifying event held in Canada in July 2019.

Vaghela’s selection is also noteworthy because he would make history by becoming the first set of brother and sister siblings to represent their respective USA senior teams. Vatsal’s younger sister, 15-year-old Isani, made her debut for the USA Women’s team in October at the Americas Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in Mexico. The last siblings to play for USA are believed to be the Severn brothers of southern California – Cliff, Raymond and Winston – who represented USA between 1963 and 1973.

Left-arm spinning allrounder Marty Kain is the third player in line for a debut for USA after being given a spot in USA’s T20I squad. The 33-year-old previously represented Canterbury and Central Districts in New Zealand domestic cricket. His last List A match came for Central Districts in January 2017 before he then migrated to the San Diego, California area where he runs his own cricket academy. He finished as the leading wicket-taker in the 50-over national championship, taking 11 scalps for West Zone Blues, and finished fourth overall in runs with 190 including two half-centuries.

The trio is part of a slew of changes in both the T20I and ODI squads for USA. Monank Patel, who replaced Saurabh Netravalkar as T20I captain for the T20 World Cup qualifying event in November, has been tabbed to take over the captaincy in ODIs as well after leading USA to an undefeated 6-0 T20I title run in Antigua last month. Fast bowler Ali Khan, who returned to USA’s T20I squad last month in Antigua for the first time since August 2019, will get a chance to play ODIs for the first time since April 2019 in Namibia after being named in both squads against Ireland.

Medium pacer Jessy Singh has been recalled after leaving the September tour of Oman early due to injury. Xavier Marshall, who was recalled in USA’s T20I squad for the Americas T20 World Cup Qualifier in November, has been recalled in the ODI squad for the Ireland series. Sushant Modani, who had a poor ODI debut tour in Oman in September and was not included in USA’s T20I squad for Antigua, has maintained his spot in the ODI squad after scoring two unbeaten centuries for the Southwest squad at the 50-over men’s Nationals in Texas.

However, medium-pace allrounder Ian Holland, who was USA’s standout player in Antigua with a team-best 10 wickets and was also USA’s leading scorer in his last ODI tour in February 2020 in Nepal, is unavailable for the Ireland series due to logistical issues. Holland returned to Victoria for the home Australian summer following the end of the tour of Antigua.

A number of players have been dropped to make room for the additions to the USA squad. Most notable is 39-year-old Elmore Hutchinson. The left-arm medium-pacer is in the top five of USA’s all-time wicket-taker lists in both 50-over and T20 cricket, but has seen his role continue to diminish on recent tours and was no longer maintaining a regular place in the starting XI.

Trinson Carmichael was dropped from the T20I squad after going wicketless in his only two matches during the 29-year-old left-arm spinner’s debut tour to Antigua. Fast bowler Kyle Phillip, right-hand batter Sanjay Krishnamurthi and left-arm spinning allrounder Karima Gore have all been left out of USA’s ODI squad for the three matches against Ireland after featuring on the September ODI tour of Oman. However, Gore has kept his spot in the T20I squad.

USA are due to play the first of two T20Is against Ireland on December 22 at the Broward County Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida before playing the following day again at 7 pm. The three-match ODI series then begins at 10 am on December 26 with a second ODI on December 28 before the series concludes with a day-night finale on December 30.

USA T20I squad: Monank Patel (capt./wk), Karima Gore, Aaron Jones, Marty Kain, Ali Khan, Jaskaran Malhotra, Xavier Marshall, Saurabh Netravalkar, Nisarg Patel, Gajanand Singh, Jessy Singh, Steven Taylor, Rusty Theron, Vatsal Vaghela.

USA ODI squad: Monank Patel (capt./wk), Rahul Jariwala (wk), Aaron Jones, Nosthush Kenjige, Ali Khan, Jaskaran Malhotra, Xavier Marshall, Sushant Modani, Saurabh Netravalkar, Nisarg Patel, Gajanand Singh, Jessy Singh, Steven Taylor, Vatsal Vaghela.

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo’s USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna


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