The United States of America will become the 28th country to play in a T20I when they face the UAE at the ICC Academy in Dubai on Friday.
For the newcomers, the prospect of seeking out a maiden victory is a high priority, although they clearly have a long-term vision in mind.
‘At the end of this year there’s a big tournament coming up, the T20 global qualifier and regional qualifiers. So we want to see what is our best combination and best players for that version,’ USA coach Pubudu Dassanayake told ESPNcricinfo. ‘We’re going to try a few combinations tomorrow and the day after and see what’s best for us.’
A big focus for the side will be to improve their bowling at the death, along with their power-hitting.
‘All of these training tours, today, tomorrow and even the T20 games going into 50-overs, we’ve got to cover a few things for us to shape up in the 50 overs as well,’ added Dassanayake.
USA captain Saurabh Netravalkar was upbeat about his side’s ability to soak up the pressure in their first time out on the big stage, and in the 32-degree desert heat that awaits them.
Despite it being the first T20I for the men from ‘the land of the free’, their squad is not without international experience.
Former West Indies Test batsman Xavier Marshall has been recalled to the USA squad for the big match as the newcomers look to add firepower to their side in a bid for first-time glory.
‘’He has played Test cricket, and his quality is right up there,’ said skipper Netravalkar, who expressed total confidence in Marshall’s ability to produce at the highest level.
‘The intensity and passion that he’s shown to be in the unit and the efforts in practice and performances of course, we believe in him. We are really looking forward to seeing something special from him.
‘We are really excited, but we want to take it as just another game – we want to go out there and give it our best. We want to focus on the simple things, our preparation, and hopefully put up a special performance for people who are watching,’ added Netravalkar.