From Spectator to Star Player
Four years ago, Rachin Ravindra was merely a spectator, watching the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 final on a TV screen during a youth cricket tour in India. Fast forward to the present, Ravindra is back in India, but this time, he’s the emerging all-rounder who stole the show with a spectacular century against England in the opening match of the 2023 tournament.
A Special Moment for a Kiwi with Indian Roots
For Ravindra, a New Zealander of Indian descent, this breakthrough performance on the world stage was particularly special. “Scoring a century is always special, but performing in India, given my roots, is an incredible feeling,” Ravindra shared. His parents, who had flown in from New Zealand, were present to witness his stellar performance.
Named After Cricket Legends
Ravindra’s first name might ring a bell for cricket enthusiasts. He was named by his cricket-loving parents after two of India’s cricket legends – Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar. “I’ve always admired Sachin Tendulkar. His batting technique was a joy to watch,” Ravindra admitted.
Impressive Performance Against England
Ravindra’s remarkable 123* off just 96 balls, featuring five sixes and 11 fours, left England’s bowling attack in tatters. This was also his first time batting in the top three in a full ODI for New Zealand, a position he earned after impressing in the warm-up matches as a stand-in opener.
Future as an All-Rounder
Ravindra’s future position in the team, especially once Kane Williamson is fit to return, is yet to be decided. However, his all-rounder status and strong performance make a compelling case for his inclusion. Despite his dissatisfaction with his bowling figures of 1/76 against England, Ravindra remains optimistic. “I aim to be a genuine all-rounder and will continue to strive for that,” he said.
Key Role in New Zealand’s Powerplay Blitz
Ravindra’s aggressive batting was instrumental in New Zealand’s powerplay blitz, helping his team stay ahead of the run-rate and neutralizing England’s spin attack. His unbroken stand of 273 runs with Devon Conway set a new record for New Zealand at a global tournament. His first international century, achieved off 82 balls, also broke the record for his country’s fastest in men’s ODIs.
Praise from Teammates and Opponents
Ravindra’s performance earned him praise from both his teammates and opponents. New Zealand captain Tom Latham lauded his fantastic innings, while England’s captain Jos Buttler acknowledged Ravindra’s brilliance after being on the receiving end of his performance.