New Zealand’s Rachin Ravindra’s India connect includes Sachin Tendulkar |Watch
Born to Indian parents in Wellington, Rachin Ravindra has a strong connect with the cricket-mad nation with his family roots in Bengaluru. With a first name made up of ‘Ra’ for Rahul and ‘chin’ from Sachin, due to his father’s love of the game, Ravindra lived up to his name in spectacular style.
“My parents come from Bangalore and it is amazing to play a World Cup here,” the 23-year-old PTI referring to the Kanpur Test which he was able to draw for his team while batting alongside number 11 Ajaz Patel.
He smashed 123 in an unbeaten stand of 273 with Devon Conway as New Zealand cruised to a nine-wicket victory against defending champions England in Ahmedabad.
The 23-year-old Ravindra, whose parents moved from the south Indian city of Bengaluru to New Zealand, reached his ton soon after fellow left-hander Conway got his hundred in front of a sparse crowd at the 132,000-seater stadium.
He clubbed 11 fours and five sixes in his 96-ball innings and admitted he was inspired by Dravid and Tendulkar.
“I think those two are pretty special cricketers,” he said.
“Obviously, I’ve heard a lot of stories and watched a lot of footage and I guess the influence from my parents and the old-school Indian cricketers was pretty cool.
“Being able to watch a lot of their highlights and stuff. Obviously, I idolised Sachin Tendulkar. I guess being a lefty, there’s guys you look at, I love (Brian) Lara, I love (Kumar) Sangakkara, just the usual gun left-handers.”
The Wellington-born Ravindra reached his ton off 82 balls with nine fours and four sixes as New Zealand reached their target of 283 with 13.4 overs to spare on Thursday.
“I think a hundred is always special, but I guess in terms of being able to perform in India is pretty cool. It’s cool to have the Indian roots,” Ravindra told reporters.
“It was also nice to have my parents there watching and they flew over from New Zealand. So, it’s cool to have that moment and obviously it’s always nice coming to India.
“I have a sense of family connection whenever I’m in Bangalore and being able to see my grandparents.”
Ravindra has made an impression in just 13 ODI matches since his debut in March this year.
Promoted to number three, Ravindra made it count with his good friend Conway.
“Dev’s an absolutely incredible and special player. I think being able to share the pitch with him was pretty cool,” said Ravindra.
“I’ve spent a lot of time with over the last sort of five, six years and seeing how he’s risen to one of the best batters in the world. It’s pretty cool to share that milestone with him.”
From watching previous World Cup as a fanboy to now being part of the next one, it has been a pretty “cool” journey for Rachin.
“It is actually quite a story. My dad takes a bunch of age group boys to India (annually) and we were in Bangalore on a senior trip. We were watching the final (2019) in a stock exchange bar.
“I watched the whole final. It was unbelievable and such a rollercoaster experience with the high and lows of the game. Having Indian supporters around us was pretty cool. It is an experience I will never forget.”
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Updated: 05 Oct 2023, 11:19 PM IST