Sports, Cricket

Raschin Rabindra rewarded for World Cup show

Published : 25 Nov 2023 09:12 PM | Updated : 26 Nov 2023 01:15 AM

“Pretty surreal,” RaschinRabindrasays, summing up his two years in international cricket, which was capped by a special ODI World Cup in India, where he scored 543 runs, with three centuries and two half-centuries.

"Things have happened quite quickly, and I am very fortunate to be here right now," he said in Sylhet, where New Zealand are getting ready for a two-Test series against Bangladesh before heading back home where they will again play Bangladesh, though in a short-format series. 

Come Tuesday, in the first Test against Bangladesh on their own soil, Ravindra, if he plays, could bat much lower than the No. 3 position he took at the ODI World Cup. It will be different for sure.

Ravindra's batting gives him an edge in terms of selection in the XI, but there's a lot of quality in New Zealand's spin-heavy squad in Bangladesh, Aiazpatel, IshSodhi and Mitchel Santner (another allrounder, though primarily a bowler) are the specialists, and apart from Ravindra, there's also Glenn Phillip, a batter with a knack of picking up crucial wickets with his offspin.

Sylhet, the venue of the first Test against Bangladesh, is known to be a bit more seamer-friendly than, say, Dhaka, but spinners should have a big role to play there too. The second Test will be played in Dhaka. SoRavindra, and the other New Zealand spinners, should be in the game. SoRavindra wants to learn as much as he can, especially from Ajaz and Sodhi; but for him, it's about "trying to understand what they do well but still trying to do it my way". "Those wickets back in 2021 [when New Zealand played five T20Is in Dhaka] were very interesting, I guess," he said with a laugh. "It was quite difficult to bat on, but it was good fun to bowl on." 

Despite being a batting allrounder, Ravindra's ability to bowl left-arm spin could see him given more responsibility with the ball than he might get elsewhere. At the World Cup, he was more than useful, not always picking up a lot of wickets - though the 2 for 21 against Sri Lanka was quite cool - but more than pulling his weight as one of the fifth bowlers, returning a tournament economy of 5.98.

And like on the tour of Pakistan in April-May this year, New Zealand will have the services of SaqlainMustaq to fall back on in Bangladesh too. He has been working with the spinners in Sylhet, and Ravindra is "really excited" about it, and not just because of the obvious reason.

"Really excited to link up with him again, talk a lot about cricket, [and] about life. He imparts some great wisdom, so not just on the field but off the field [too]."

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