Idli and dosa are among young Kiwi southpaw Rachin Ravindra’s favourite dishes. But he could partake of neither because of team dietary restrictions when he took time off to visit his grandparents at Wilson Garden on Friday, a day after Kane Williamson and Co. had smashed Sri Lanka at the Chinnaswamy Stadium to clear their road to the World Cup semi-finals.
They meet India in the semis at the Wankhede in Mumbai on Wednesday.
It must be a miss for Rachin, whose name was smelted joining parts of the first names of Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar. So it was for his grandparents as they couldn’t see him gorge on the traditional south Indian delicacies. But getting a chance to meet and greet their grandson and spend priceless time with him must have been its own reward.
Rachin has rocketed to celebrity status this World Cup with three hundreds, 565 runs at a strike rate of 108.44, and an average of 70.62; he has been key to the Kiwis’ march beyond the league stage.
Ravindra’s grandfather Balakrishna Adiga was happy to declare that getting to be with his grandson and the newest New Zealand star was a special experience. “This was really very much different from his previous visits,” Balakrishna, a well-known educationist, told The Telegraph on Sunday.
“Rachin has now become a celebrity in the cricket world. Being very proud of his achievements, we were eagerly waiting to meet and congratulate him for the same.
“But yes, he couldn’t have his favourite idli and dosa. He has a liking for most south Indian delicacies and he relishes them. But this time we couldn’t force him as his diet is strictly under the control of the team management.”
New Zealand’s diet consists mostly of boiled meats and vegetables with eggs although the players can sometimes eat food of their choice, depending on what’s available at the team hotel.
Being an educationist himself, Balakrishna does like it that Ravindra comes across as studious and continues to take his studies seriously even after making a name for himself in international cricket.
“He is pursuing his engineering degree in information technology from Wellington University. He’s serious about studies and I’m sure he’ll do well in this field too,” Balakrishna said.
Although he had fared well against India in the league-phase clash in Dharamsala with a well-compiled 75, Ravindra’s task in the semi-final at the Wankhede will be much more challenging as it will be a pressure knockout game. However, the advice he has had from his 72-year-old grandfather should calm his nerves.
Balakrishna said: “I have
advised Rachin to keep going
in the same way. I told him, ‘Just look to try for excellence and keep your
cool. Success will be yours’.”
Zealand would obviously be elated if Ravindra fires and sets it up against his
country of origin in the first semi-final on Wednesday. His grandfather, too,
wishes for his “best performance” but not at the cost of an India victory.
the semi-final match against India, I want Rachin’s
best performance to come out. But wish that India win,” Balakrishna said.