This seems so true in thecase of Ravindra, the young all-rounder who has started his career recently has been hailed as bowling all-rounder who could contribute to the team’s cause.
Perhaps, it was the prime reason why he was able to bowl his full quota of overs. Having said that, he was not able to devote much time in terms of batting.
That may have been down to either him getting an opportunity to bat at the far end of the innings with only a few overs left for play or it may have been that the team was under tremendous pressure losing the top and middle order batters.
A look at his record seems to prove the point.
Prior to the ICC 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup, Ravindra had played 12 ODI’s. From these games, he scored 189 runs at an average of 23.62.
While bowling, he took 12 wickets in as many matches at an average of 33.91, which though not extraordinary, was much better when compared to his batting.
However, New Zealand were dealt a big blow in the form of injury to their captain and as they say, one of the elite members of the ”Fab Four” Kane Williamson.
It’s a no-brainer to undermine the absence of someone who has been a rock for his nation at #3.
In his absence, the team was forced to try something new for the time being.
Rachin Ravindra who generally bats in top order for his home side was promoted at no. 3 just to see whether he can fill in it the big shoes of Williamson and he has exceeded all the expectations since.
A promising start
It all started against Pakistan in the warm game in Hyderabad on September 29, 2023.
Pakistan had amassed 346 and looked to seal the game when Ravindra was sent to open.
He would smash them all, unwilling to differentiate between medium fast and spinners, sending them all for a leather hunt on his way to a whirlwind 97 that came off just 72 deliveries.
Rachin Ravindra continued his form in the World Cup as he made hundred on his World Cup debut and it was a special hundred which blew on England. His 123* of 96 balls ensured New Zealand started World Cup with a bang.
He followed it with a half century against Netherlands. While he failed against Bangladesh but made 32 against Afghanistan It was once again followed with a superb innings of 75 against India and an explosive hundred against Australia, where he scored 116 of just 89 balls.
In 7 matches at the World Cup Ravindra has already scored 2 centuries and has an average that as on November 4, reads 69.16?
How often have we heard staggering, right?
The youngster’s skill set, however, isn’t only restricted to his brave batting.
The left-hander is also a useful bowler, a glimpse of which we have seem thus far, even as his 3 wickets from 7 games have at 104.
However, it mustn’t be forgotten that on flat wickets, where the average score has been somewhere along the lines of 340-350, it can be seen how Rachin Ravindra has failed to pick more wickets.
This isn’t defending the youngster who has a lot to prove with his bowling skills, these being early days for him as a BlackCaps international.
Rachin Ravindra, the all-rounder in the works, however, has well and truly burst onto the scene with his explosive batting.
It’ll be hard to cast a blind eye on the world cup opener, where along with Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra, quite simply, butchered Jos Buttler’s England.
Can New Zealand make it to Semifinals
Now having said all of that, where it stands at the moment, things have become a bit tricky for New Zealand after losing their last 3 matches consecutively.
The team has played 7 Matches as on date from which it has won 4 and lost 3 games.
At the moment, Australia’s great rivals and one of the most consistent, yet under-appreciated sides has 8 points against their name.
Not just the soon-to-begin contest against Pakistan, but even the forthcoming clash against Sri Lanka could be tricky.
It promises, one notes, the typical- anything can happen outcome.
But what’s certain is that the contest against Pakistan is likely to decide which team proceeds ahead.
While the BlackCaps would have been the team to bill for wins, unfortunately they seem to have lost the momentum. At least, that’s what seems at the moment.
With injuries to major players like Kane Williamson, Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson, it has become more challenging.
In such a scenario, the responsibility on youngsters like Rachin Ravindra is bound to increase.
With his form- 415 runs from 7 matches with 2 hundreds and his handy left-arm orthodox spin- he has to ensure that he contributes for a team can still very much make it to the semi finals.
Even as one praises one of the big finds of the BlackCaps, it is hard to imagine the real pressure he may have played amid, the ongoing campaign being his maiden ICC World Cup event.
But that said, whatever be the outcome in today’s big clash, Rachin Ravindra has shown a lot of promise for a future that seems a really bright one. What else would the Kiwis ask for? Oh, yeah the world cup title but surely, lifting it along with his colleagues, should that happen, will be such a delight for the avid youngster.
Sketch prepared by– S. Rajnikanth