I'm a complete Kiwi, but proud of my Indian roots: Rachin Ravindra

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Rachin Ravindra.jpg

Rachin Ravindra (File Photo)

Ahmedabad: Rachin Ravindra takes pride in his strong India connect and ethnicity, which only deepened with his maiden ODI ton in the World Cup opener in Ahmedabad, but the all-rounder considers himself a "complete Kiwi" just like teammate Devon Conway.


Born to Indian parents in Wellington, Ravindra has his family roots in Bengaluru, while Conway migrated to New Zealand from South Africa in 2017 for better cricketing opportunities.

And on Thursday, Ravindra (123 not out off 96 balls) and Conway (152 not out off 121) hammered England's bowling attack into submission to power New Zealand to a comfortable nine-wicket win over the defending champions.

"We're both sort of Kiwis now. I was born in New Zealand and my family's from India, but I completely see myself as a Kiwi and obviously very proud of my roots and my ethnicity," Ravindra said at the post-match press conference on Thursday.


"I think Devon (Conway) would be the same. I think he's sort of adopted New Zealand as his home for the last 5-6 years and I'd say he's completely Kiwi. So, I mean, being able to win a game for your nation is always special," he added.

Chasing England's 282 for 9, the duo shared an unbeaten 273, the fourth-highest partnership for any wicket, to canter to victory in 36.2 overs.

Talking about the scintillating partnership with Conway, Ravindra said the plan was to keep things simple.


"It was just (about) trying to keep it pretty simple. I think the way me and Dev (Conway) sort of went about it, being able to check in with each other ball after ball and making sure what's important stays important," he said.

"The process and your routines, as opposed to just blindly trying to take someone down or do something rash." Ravindra was named after two Indian cricket icons -- Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar, whom he idolises.

His first name Rachin was derived from 'Ra' of Rahul Dravid and 'chin' of Sachin Tendulkar.


"I think those two (Dravid and Tendulkar) are pretty special cricketers," he said.

"Obviously, I've heard a lot of stories and watched a lot of footage. I guess the influence from my parents and my dad, sort of, and the old-school Indian cricketers was pretty cool.

"Being able to watch a lot of their highlights and stuff… obviously, I idolise Sachin Tendulkar, I think a lot of people do. I think the way he batted, his technique was beautiful to watch," he added.


Tendulkar may be his idol but Ravindra also also likes Brian Lara and Kumar Sangakkara, both of whom were left-handers like him.

"I guess being (a) lefty, there's guys you look at. I love (Brian) Lara, I love (Kumar) Sangakkara, just the usual gun left-handers but Tendulkar is definitely the idol," he shared.

Ravindra smashed the century on Thursday in front of his parents who were present at the Narendra Modi Stadium here.


"It was nice to have my parents there watching and they flew over from New Zealand. It's cool to have that moment and obviously it's always nice coming to India," said the 23-year-old all-rounder.

"A hundred is always special, but I guess in terms of being able to perform in India is pretty cool. I think, like you said, it's cool to have Indian roots.

"I have a sense of family connection whenever I'm in Bangalore. Being able to see my grandparents and stuff, so yeah, it's pretty cool," he added.

But the start of the match was not that good for Ravindra as he gave away 76 runs out of England's 282 from his 10 overs of left-arm spin.

Ravindra said he spends a lot of time with specialist New Zealand spinners to hone his bowling skills.

"I work very closely with Mitchell (Santner) and Ish (Sodhi). I think those two are incredible bowlers, obviously GP (Glenn Phillips) as well. Being able to lean on those guys is pretty cool," he said.

"I think Santner is a world-class spinner and obviously Ish is a very, very close mate of mine, so we're able to talk a lot of cricket."