‘We did it together bro.’
IMAGE: Debutant Rachind Ravindra, 22, faced 91 balls for his 18 not out, while Ajaz Patel survived 23 balls to be unbeaten on two to help New Zealand draw the first Test against India. Photograph: Black Caps/Twitter
New Zealand’s Indian-origin spinner Rachin Ravindra, who played a pivotal role in helping his side draw the first Test against India, said he was quite nervous about how the game would pan out as far as his bowling was concerned.
Debutant Ravindra, 22, faced 91 balls for his 18 not out, while Patel survived 23 balls to be unbeaten on two. Chasing a target of 284 for victory on the final day, New Zealand slumped to 155/9 with nearly nine overs to go and an upbeat India was pressing for victory in fading light.
But Ravindra and Patel batted resolutely to deny India and guided New Zealand to 165/9 when bad light stopped play.
Patel, who was born in Mumbai, played for the first time in the country of his birth. He also picked up three wickets in the game even though Ravindra failed to pick up a wicket.
The 33-year-old Patel interviewed Ravindra for the New Zealand cricket team’s official Twitter handle and recalled his own Test debut.
“I remember my my first Test match, I was really nervous, and my hands were shaking when I first got the ball. How was it for you?” Patel asked.
Ravindra candidly admitted to having nerves of his own.
“I felt a bit nervous bowling wise. We were about four down in first innings when I was next, so definitely felt a few butterflies (that time), but I think after a few balls, I did what I do. Luckily it ended up okay,” said Wellington-based player.
Ravindra has already a lot of attention for his Indian roots and his first name which is inspired by Indian greats Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. The youngster said he enjoyed playing in front of Indian fans.
“Being able to play in India in front of crazy fans. Glad to have done that. My mum and dad have been such big influences on my career. I am sure that they are proud,” said Ravindra.
“We did it together bro,” he said, sharing a smile with Patel.
Later, in another video posted by New Zealand Cricket, Ravindra said the partnership with Patel was unforgettable.
“I think I was actually alright in the end, I knew my process, my training, and I backed myself to do it. You are kind of pretty focussed, taking in the crowd, you know, how loud they were…
“It was quite nerve-wracking. I guess we somehow managed our nerves together. It’s a moment I will never forget,” he added.
The second and final Test will be played in Mumbai from December 3.