Fast forward to the present, and the 23-year-old Ravindra found himself at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, arms outstretched, face to the sky, with an ecstatic crowd chanting his name – ‘Raachin, Raachin.’
While his name, Rachin, is a blend of Sachin and Rahul, he has now carved out an identity of his own.
On Saturday, the southpaw achieved his third century of the ongoing World Cup, this time against Pakistan, following centuries against England and Australia.
Rachin Ravindra Scripts HISTORY | Breaks Sachin Tendulkar’s record with 108 runs | Pak v New Zealand
Ravindra also secured a unique distinction as the first New Zealand batsman to record three centuries in a single edition of the World Cup, surpassing stalwarts like Kane Williamson and Glenn Turner, who each managed two centuries.
This century holds a special place in his heart due to his family’s deep-rooted connection to the city. His father, Ravi Krishnamurthy, was a passionate cricket enthusiast and a club-level player in Bengaluru before relocating to New Zealand.
His grandparents Balakrishna Adiga, the noted educationist, and Poornima Adiga live in South Bengaluru and they were in the stands on this day to watch Ravindra giving a manifestation of his talent.
“We are thrilled to see him getting the hundred. It was a surreal experience for us to listen to the crowd chanting his name,” said a delighted Balakrishna.
Poornima was equally elated. “His father was also a cricket buff and so it was not very surprising for us that Rachin took to cricket from a very young age. His father was very supportive of him,” she said.
“The only regret for us is that Rachin has not been able to spend a lot of time with us because of his national duties. But hopefully soon,” she added.
In fact, Krishnamurthy had established the Hawks Club in Wellington out of his passion and that now has some prominent players like Ben Sears, who has played six T20Is for New Zealand.
Ravindra, though, remains the most high-profile player of the small-time club, and he made extensive trips to this part of the world playing matches in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai, besides in some North Indian venues.
By the evidence, those teenage tours have done wonders in his development as a player.
Ravindra acknowledged it. “The conditions over here are so different to what we have at home.
“Before this World Cup, I was fortunate enough to have played in Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, and up north. It gives you a bit of a sense of belonging, calms you down,” he was quoted as saying by the NZC.
The world might be opening up to the special skills of Ravindra now, but in the Kiwi circles Ravindra has always been marked as a special talent.
The first hint came when he received the Gillette Cup Award for the best young player of his country from the legendary Sir Richard Hadlee.
“New Zealand has always been blessed with some really good young talents. With the right amount of opportunities, they should serve the team well.
“There are some very good boys coming up — Rachin (Ravindra), Mark (Chapman), Glenn Phillips are a few of them to be watched out for,” Hadlee had remarked during an interaction in early 2020.
Incidentally, the troika is a part of New Zealand’s World Cup squad here with Ravindra shining the brightest of them.
Rest assured, this is just the beginning of a long journey as well.
(With PTI Inputs)