New Zealand batsman Rachin Ravindra admitted it felt “surreal” to hear his name being chanted by Indian fans during Thursday’s World Cup win over Sri Lanka. However, the 23-year-old shouldn’t be too surprised as the southern city was once home to his parents before they moved to New Zealand. Ravindra, one of the breakout stars of the World Cup, gave fans plenty to shout about as he made 42 in his team’s five-wicket win which has almost guaranteed New Zealand a place in the semi-finals.
“It’s a pretty surreal feeling,” Ravindra told Star Sports.
“I am grateful for the support, especially playing in Bangalore. The crowd chanting my name is something I will never take for granted.
“I dreamt of it as a child. I feel very happy to be here, lucky enough it worked out.”
With a first name reflecting his father’s love of the game — ‘Ra’ from Rahul Dravid and ‘chin’ from Sachin Tendulkar — Ravindra has shown no sign of suffering any burden carrying the names of two of India’s most famous cricketing sons.
He has three centuries at this World Cup and a tournament-leading 565 runs from nine innings at an average of a shade over 70.
“Six to 12 months ago, I wasn’t even in the frame,” he admitted.
He almost didn’t get his opportunity at the World Cup, only named in the starting line-up when skipper Kane Williamson needed more time to recover from a knee injury.
“It’s a funny one. I have idolised Kane. I have idolised a lot like Virat Kohli, Steven Smith, Joe Root.
“But Kane, his leadership, on and off the field, just keeps it calm.”
India is proving a memorable place for Ravindra to visit.
In 2021, at the second Test in Mumbai, he held the catch that allowed teammate Ajaz Patel to become just the third bowler in history to take all 10 wickets in an innings.
It would have helped ease the bruising 372-run loss the Kiwis suffered.
“It was a nervy moment in my career. Lucky to have taken the catch,” he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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