Rachin Ravindra emerged as a surprise package in the opening game of the ICC World Cup 2023 as New Zealand dominated proceedings against defending champions England at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Thursday.
Ravindra smashed his maiden ODI hundred off 82 balls and picked the crucial wicket of Harry Brook to help New Zealand restrict England to 282 for 9 after the Kiwis won the toss and elected to bowl first at Motera.
The 23-year-old became the youngest centurion for the Kiwis in ODI World Cup history with his swashbuckling knock. He remained not out on 123* in 96 balls which included 11 fours and 5 sixes.
He is just 13 ODIs old but has already managed to showcase his class and maturity in such a short span of time.
Equally effective with both the bat and ball, Ravindra is surely going to be one of the players to watch out for in this World Cup, which is being played in his native country India.
"My parents come from Bangalore and it is amazing to play a World Cup here," Ravindra said in a recent interview.
Who is Rachin Ravindra?
The left-handed batter and spin bowler was born to Indian parents in Wellington on November 18, 1999. He made his Test debut against India two years ago in Kanpur.
His father Ravi Krishnamurthy, a software architect, played club-level cricket in his hometown Bangalore, before settling in New Zealand.
He is also the grandson of Dr. T.A Balakrishna Adiga, a noted biology faculty who taught in Vijaya College, Bangalore and at BASE, Basavanagudi.
Rachin has a strong connect with the cricket mad nation with his family roots in Bengaluru. His father in fact, named him after Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.
From cheering for NZ at a Bengaluru bar in 2019 WC Final to being part of CWC23
Rachin Ravindra found the night of July 14, 2019, one of the longest and hardest to endure as he watched New Zealand's heartbreaking defeat to England in the ODI World Cup final sitting in a Bengaluru pub.
Ravindra, then all of 19 was on an annual trip to India with his father's cricket club and the roller-coaster experience of watching the final is still etched in his memory.
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.
The Indian connect
"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," Ravindra told PTI.