It’s Rachin Ravindra The debut Cricket World Cup launched young all-rounders to real stardom. Her 42 against Sri Lanka to take her total to 565 runs for the tournament surpassed the record for most runs by a maiden ODI World Cup.
Previously held by Johnny Bairstow in the 2019 edition, Ravindra now also tops the runscorer tally for this year’s tournament as New Zealand’s five-wicket win all but assured them a place in the semifinals.
It’s even more special that Ravindra achieved success in Bengaluru, where his father was born – so it’s no surprise how the 23-year-old has performed at home in this tournament.
The Upper Hutt product made 565 runs in nine innings at an average of 70.62 – for context the next highest scorer Quinton de Kock of South Africa has scored 550 runs at 68.75 and India’s Virat Kohli has 543 despite an average of 108.60.
Ravindra’s company at the top of the run scorers table is reason enough to celebrate, if you add his five wickets he has also taken – including two in the win against Sri Lanka to polish off the tail – he has one of the most impressive. debut tournaments in the history of ODI World Cup.
The Cricket World Cup is entering what we refer to in sporting circles as the ‘pointy end’ and with Pakistan and Afghanistan having the slimmest chance of beating New Zealand for a semifinal spot, looking ahead to the semifinal in Mumbai against in India is reasonable. next step.
Who then from either side is likely to make the difference in a Cricket World Cup semifinal?
To wax lyrical about a Wellingtonian for the best part of six paragraphs, not including Rachin Ravindra in this list would be borderline sacrilege. In the Black Caps round robin match against India Ravindra scored 75 as the Kiwis almost lost to the Indians in their home tournament. Couple that with his record-breaking form and ability to take wickets with the ball and you have yourself a potential match-winner for the New Zealand side.
Conditions in India have favored spin bowling and Mitchell Santner has taken full advantage of this World Cup. 16 wickets at an average of 24.87 while conceding only 4.81 runs which made him sit fifth in the bowler rankings. Santner’s 2/22 from his ten overs against Sri Lanka saw him continue his strong form with the ball and economical overs from your spinners, while having a wicket-taking threat worthy of their weight in gold in close ODIs.
It’s unusual to get two players on a list of key personnel for a Black Caps side that hasn’t even mentioned Kane Williamson – yet that’s where we find ourselves. The New Zealand skipper’s tournament has been plagued by injury which means he hasn’t really got into his usual Williamson groove, but it’s characteristic that he’ll come out with more innings or a piece of involvement in the game in a semifinals. Write him at your peril.
Kyle Jamieson has been brought into the New Zealand side as injury cover for Matt Henry. While Lockie Ferguson appears to be preferred as an easy bowling option, Jamieson dismissed Indian captain Virat Kohli twice in the final of the World Test Championship and played with him in the Indian Premier League. Who doesn’t like a narrative?
Talking about Kohli, this tournament looks like it could be the defining performance of his glittering career. His 543 runs while averaging over 100 in a home tournament is the kind of thing cricket fans will pour over Cricinfo and marvel at for years to come. If India can defeat the Black Caps and go on to win the tournament, Kohli will undoubtedly play a part in it.
Records were broken, leg and middle in this World Cup and Mohammed Shami became India’s all-time ODI World Cup wicket taker right up there. Making his first start in the tournament as injury cover, he replaced Hardik Pandya and took 16 wickets in just four matches at a ridiculous average of just 7.00.
Add in power hitter Rohit Sharma, opener Jasprit Bumrah and the all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja – this India side is brimming with talent and has some to beat in a World Cup semifinal. at what is sure to be a capacity Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Will Toogood is an online sports editor for the NZ Herald. He previously worked in the digital team at Newstalk ZB and at Waiheke’s Gulf Newscovering sport and events.