Ravindra’s run-rich World Cup acclaimed by Ronchi
Rachin Ravindra’s prolific World Cup has been hailed by Black Caps batting coach Luke Ronchi, as the young allrounder closes on a swag of records.
The 23-year-old Ravindra – who wouldn’t have been in New Zealand’s starting team if Kane Williamson hadn’t missed the opening games with injury – has forged a permanent spot after scoring three centuries among his 523 tournament runs.
Ronchi says the left-hander has performed beyond the expectations of even those in the Black Caps squad who had recognised his talent.
“I think coming into the World Cup he wasn’t expecting to play as much as he has but with Kane not being available for the first couple of games – Rachin came in and batted beautifully and he has through every game,” Ronchi said.
“He’s been in different situations in different matches and he’s shown a level head and a maturity beyond his age.
“He’s obviously had a phenomenal tournament. To score three hundreds and to score the runs he has – and the calmness he’s showed out in the middle… “
Ravindra sits third in the tournament run charts, close behind South African Quinton de Kock (550 runs) and Indian Virat Kohli (543).
All three are well in contention to surpass the record for the most runs at any World Cup – the mark of 673 held by Indian great Sachin Tendulkar since 2003.
The most runs by a New Zealander at a World Cup is 547 from Martin Guptill in 2015.
Ravindra is also poised to pass another of Tendulkar’s milestones.
One more run will eclipse the 523 scored by Tendulkar at the 1996 tournament, until now the highest tally by any player aged 25 or under.
Ronchi believes Thursday’s crucial final group stage match against Sri Lanka provides the perfect chance for Ravindra and the other New Zealand’s batsmen to shine.
The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium venue in Bangalore was the scene of last week’s run-fest against Pakistan in which the Black Caps passed 400 runs – including Ravindra’s 108 – but were still beaten.
“With the couple of games that have been played here, there have been some high scores so unless there’s something different that’s gone on in the preparation of the surface, I’d imagine it will be another high-scoring affair,” Ronchi said.
“The batters will be licking their lips and the bowlers will know there’s going to be tough work, but that’s been the story for the majority of the World Cup anyway.”
Victory over Sri Lanka will considerably boost New Zealand’s hopes of staving off Pakistan and Afghanistan to claim the fourth and final semi-final berth.
Ronchi said he anticipated the selectors would have a fully-fit squad to choose from after pace bowler Lockie Ferguson (Achilles tendon) trained without incident in a rain-affected practice session on Tuesday.
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