Ravindra out to prove Test credentials in Bangladesh
Rachin Ravindra may still be basking on having taken the World Cup by storm, but the New Zealand all-rounder has the wind in his sails to put his red-ball career back on track against hosts Bangladesh, the same opponents who derailed it.
In January last year, the Mominul Haque-led Bangladesh team pulled off a stunning eight-wicket victory in the Mount Maunganui Test over the hosts, registering the country's first-ever win over the Kiwis in New Zealand in any format.
Ravindra, playing only his third Test, had an underwhelming showing in that game, accumulating 20 runs in two innings while also going wicketless.
Consequently, Ravindra lost his place in the side in the second Test of the series, warmed the bench in New Zealand's following Test series against South Africa, and eventually got axed from the Test squad entirely.
The 24-year-old earned a callback into the red-ball team following an incredible display in the ICC World Cup in India, where he plundered 578 runs in 10 innings and hit three centuries - most by a New Zealander in a single edition of the showpiece event.
"It's pretty surreal. Things have happened quite quickly and I am very fortunate to be here right now," Ravindra said on Friday in Sylhet, referring to his breakout performance in the World Cup.
"I really loved my first experience of Test cricket a couple of years ago, and I'm really excited to see how my game has evolved," the 24-year-old added.
Ravindra, who bowls part-time left-arm spin, is one of the five spin-bowling options in New Zealand's 15-man squad for the two Tests.
Although his bowling stats in Tests -- three wickets in three games – appear insignificant, Ravindra has a plan in mind on how to maximise success as a spinner in Bangladesh.
"I think if you're putting in the areas and dialling up your pace a little more, hopefully, you will have success."
Following the Mount Maunganui Test, while Ravindra was forging a path back to the Test team, Bangladesh went on to play 11 Tests -- winning one match each against Ireland and Afghanistan, drawing one against Sri Lanka and losing the remaining eight -- finishing rock bottom in the previous cycle of the ICC Test Championship.
Both Bangladesh and New Zealand will begin their campaign in the 2023-25 cycle of the championship with the Sylhet Test, starting on November 28, where much like Ravindra, the Tigers would also be hoping for a fresh start in the red-ball format.