World Cup 2023: Rachin Ravindra future star of world cricket but different from Yuvraj Singh, says Harbhajan Singh
Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh heaped praise on Rachin Ravindra, lauding the New Zealand all-rounder's batting effort so far in World Cup 2023. The World Cup-winning former India cricketer said he had no doubt that the 23-year-old would go on to become a star in world cricket, but did not back former India captain Ravi Shastri's assessment of the BlackCaps youngster.
Rachin Ravindra has definitely broken out as an emerging star with his batting performances in World Cup 2023. After hitting a hundred against defending champions England in his World Cup debut in Ahmedabad on October 5, Ravindra has put in impressive performances with the bat, hitting a fifty against Netherlands in Hyderabad and a crucial 32 against Afghanistan in Chennai.
In his first World Cup match against India, Rachin Ravindra showcased what makes him a serious prospect as he handled pace and spin wonderfully well in Dharamsala on Sunday, October 22 to hit 75. Ravindra was fluent as he attacked the likes of Kuldeep Yadav and stitched a 159-run partnership, the highest for New Zealand against India in World Cups, with centurion Daryl Mitchell.
Rachin Ravindra's stroke-filled innnings prompted Ravi Shastri to compare the 23-year-old with legendary all-rounder Yuvraj Singh. Apart from his batting skills, Ravindra is also evolving into a good left-arm spinner for the Black Caps.
Rachin, who was named after Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid by his father who moved to New Zealand from Bengaluru, has been making the most of the opportunities he has got in the high-pressure World Cup.
"He plays proper cricketing shots. Yuvraj Singh's talent for these shots was amazing. His batting sense was very straightforward - he never played the ball from afar. He looked at playing it very straight, in the V. But Rachin Ravindra doesn't have the flow that Yuvraj Singh had. Yuvraj Singh had a different flow, a different power. Rachin Ravindra doesn't possess the same power, but he exhibits that form," Harbhajan told Star Sports.
"He is a delight to watch and when you observe him play, you can't imagine him getting out. Rachin Ravindra handles all types of bowling very well, whether it's fast bowling or spin. He is still young and of Indian origin. However, coming to India and performing in the World Cup, making runs against such a formidable team, demonstrates his strong mentality. Based on what we have seen so far, Rachin is the future star of world cricket."
Rachin Ravindra hit 75 while Daryl Mitchell hit 130 as New Zealand posted 274 despite a terrific spell in the end overs by Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah. Shami picked up a 5-wicket haul, becoming the first India bowler to take 5 in a World Cup match more than once.