Born to Indian parents in Wellington, Rasheen Ravindra has strong ties to the cricket-mad country as his family has roots in Bengaluru. With a first name consisting of Rahul’s ‘Ra’ and Sachin’s ‘chin’, owing to his father’s love for the game, Ravindra has lived up to his name in impressive style.
“My parents come from Bangalore and it is amazing to play a World Cup here,” points out the 23-year-old PTI player referring to the Kanpur Test in which he was able to draw for his team while batting alongside No. 11 Ajaz Patel.
He smashed 123 in an unbeaten stand of 273 with Devon Conway as New Zealand cruised to a nine-wicket win over defending champions England in Ahmedabad.
The 23-year-old Ravindra, whose parents moved from the southern Indian city of Bengaluru to New Zealand, reached his energy soon after fellow left-hander Conway got a hundred in front of a sparse crowd at the 132,000-seat stadium.
He hit 11 fours and five sixes in his 96-ball innings and admitted that he was inspired by Dravid and Tendulkar.
“I think these two cricketers are very special,” he said.
“Obviously I’ve heard a lot of stories and watched a lot of footage and I think the influence of my father and the old-school Indian cricketers has been pretty great.
“Being able to watch a lot of their highlights and stuff. Obviously I had a crush on Sachin Tendulkar. I think I’m left-handed, and there are guys you look at, I like (Brian) Lara, I like (Kumar) Sangakkara, just the usual left-handed gun.”
Wellington-born Ravindra hit his ton off 82 balls with nine fours and four sixes as New Zealand reached their target of 283 with 13.4 overs on Thursday.
“I think a hundred is always special, but I think in terms of being able to perform in India, it’s very cool. And it’s great to have Indian roots,” Ravindra told reporters.
“It was also nice to see my parents there and they had flown in from New Zealand. So, it’s great to have that moment and obviously it’s always nice to come to India.”
“I have a feeling of family connection when I am in Bangalore and can see my grandparents.”
Ravindra has made an impression in just 13 ODIs since his debut in March this year.
Promoted to number three, Ravindra made him count along with his good friend Conway.
“Dave is a fantastic, very special player. I think being able to share the field with him was very cool,” Ravindra said.
“I’ve spent a lot of time with him over the last five or six years and seen how he has risen into one of the best batsmen in the world. It’s very nice to share this achievement with him.”
From watching the previous World Cup finals as a fan to now being part of the next edition, it has been a very “wonderful” journey for Rasheen.
“It’s actually quite a story. My dad takes a group of boys from his age group to India (annually) and we were in Bangalore on a seniors’ trip. We were watching the (2019) final at the Stock Exchange bar.
“I watched the entire final. It was an incredible experience and a rollercoaster of highs and lows of the game. Having Indian fans around us was absolutely amazing. It’s an experience I will never forget.”
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Updated: October 05, 2023, 11:19 PM IST