NZ’s Rachin Ravindra shines at World Cup cricket in India
Rachin Ravindra, a 23-year-old all-rounder for New Zealand cricket, emerged as a new star for his side, lighting up the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad during the opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 against England on October 5.
While on a junior cricket tour of India four years ago, Ravindra was hooked to a TV, watching his nation suffer the narrowest of losses to England in the ICC Cricket World Cup final. Kiwis had lost the trophy on boundary count after the match and super over ended in a tie.
Four years later, Ravindra made his World Cup debut in India and the up-and-coming all-rounder stole the show, thrashing England with an incredible century, which is the fastest by a Kiwi batter in the tournament's history.
It was a special moment for Rachin, born to Indian parents, to announce himself on the world stage on a platform as big as a 50-over World Cup and avenge the loss that he saw live on TV.
"I think a hundred is always special, but I guess in terms of being able to perform in India, it is cool to have the Indian roots. It was nice to have my parents there watching – they flew over from New Zealand," Ravindra said as quoted by ICC.
"It is cool to have that moment and obviously it is always nice coming to India. I have a sense of family connection whenever I am in Bangalore, being able to see my grandparents and stuff, it is pretty cool," he added.
The all-rounder's first name is really familiar to cricket lovers across the world, especially the large mass of India fans as he was named by his cricket-loving parents after two Indian batting legends, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar.
"I think those two (Dravid and Tendulkar) are pretty special cricketers. I have heard a lot of stories and watched a lot of footage and I guess the influence from my parents and my dad and the old-school Indian cricketers was pretty cool," Ravindra said.
"Obviously, I idolised Sachin Tendulkar. I think a lot of people did. I think the way he batted and his technique was beautiful to watch. I guess being a lefty, there are guys you look at: I love Lara, I love Sangakkara, just the usual gun left-handers; but Tendulkar was definitely the idol," added the all-rounder.
Ravindra's explosive 123* came from just 96 deliveries, consisting of five sixes and 11 fours, and broke the back and spirit of England's struggling bowling attack. It was also the first time he played in top order in a full ODI for Kiwis, after impressing as a stand-in opener in warm-up matches. He batted at number three.
"I think I am pretty lucky that I was able to get the chance to bat at three. I have opened the batting for my domestic team... so it is somewhere I am familiar batting, and I really enjoy batting at the top too," Ravindra said.