BENGALURU: On July 14, 2019, sitting in a pub on MG Road here, a young Rachin Ravindra watched New Zealand’s heartbreaking loss to England in the World Cup final. On Saturday, at the M Chinnaswamy stadium located a stone’s throw away from that pub, Rachin came up with a record-breaking performance against Pakistan.
It’s been a watershed World Cup for the talented southpaw, who with 523 runs is currently the second-highest run-getter in the competition.With his 108 in 170 minutes (94b; 15×4, 1×6) on Saturday, Rachin became the firstBlack Caps batter to score three centuries in a World Cup. That was one among the many feathers he added to his cap on the day. At 23, the Wellington-born cricketer is an exciting talent blessed with fine temperament.
Until the one bad shot which cost him his wicket, Rachin showed maturity which belied his age and experience. For the first of his 14 fours, Rachin picked a loose delivery on the stumps from Hasan Ali and put it away to the fine leg ropes. In contrast, when Ali pitched outside offstump, Rachin’s shot resonated in the stadium as he punched it through extra cover. Given the years of practice under his Bengaluru-born father Ravi Krishnamurthy, the Indian touch in his shot making is evident.
Rachin’s 50 came off 51 balls. Once he knew he had the bowlers on the back foot, he punctured their strategies with eloquent timing in the company of his skip per Kane Williamson, who was equally expressive. There were no nervous 70s or 80s for the youngster, who picked the lengths skillfully. His footwork came to the fore against Haris Rauf as he pulled and punched at will while patience was his calling card against spinners.
As Rachin, who became the first player to score three centuries on World Cup debut, brought up his century with a single off Mohammad Wasim, among the people who gave him a standing ovation were his maternal family. His grandparents’ TA Balakrishna Adiga and Poornima were elated. “It was very heart touching to hear the spectators chant Rachin’s name. Watching him score a century was special,” said Adiga.
The city being the birthplace of his parents, Rachin said: “It feels surreal to be able to play in the country of my parents’ background. It is always special to play in India and more so in Bengaluru in front of my family members.”
It was only fitting that in the land of Rahul Dravid, a boy named after him made a statement.