Rachin Ravindra deserved a ball hundred

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When you’re batting for a draw, the unit of measurement switches from ‘runs’ to ‘balls faced’. This is where we get the concept of the ball hundred.

New Zealand’s Rachin Ravindra made his Test debut against India this week. He has three first-class hundreds to his name, but we are unaware whether he has ever hit a genuine fourth innings ball hundred.

Ravindra came into bat on the final day with New Zealand six wickets down and needing to survive another 30-odd overs.

It was not an easy pitch. A few overs later he watched as Tom Blundell played a perfectly respectable and sensible smothering shot off the middle of his bat, down and towards the leg side, only for the ball to kick back and hit his stumps having apparently hit a footmark.

‘Hey-ho,’ thought Ravindra and batted on. He made 91 balls not out, an 18-run innings that climaxed with a half-ball-century partnership with Ajaz Patel for the final wicket that earned New Zealand the draw.

A word too for the Kiwis’ three highest-facers, each of whom made it to three figures earlier in the day: Tom Latham, 146 (52 runs); Kane Williamson, 112 (24); and William Somerville, 110 (36).


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. I must say that this match and the concurrent Sri Lanka-Windies edition, while seeming bizarrely scheduled and therefore collectively shorn of a world-beating team’s-worth of players, have been a rather lovely advert for Test cricket, even if the results might not reflect as much. Both had some real swings from one side to another, some phenomenal performances (Axar’s current record made my friend who likes baseball salivate), and lots of spin. But also lots of forward defences to slightly weary fast bowlers while the camera panned to a lapping ocean. I’ve only recently been able to watch cricket again after decades in the cultural wasteland of the US, so I’ve been watching everything — I genuinely enjoyed every ball of the Women’s Hundred, although I gave up on the men — but the sight of someone repeatedly guiding the ball gently between second and fourth slip as a large man with floppy hair looks mildly upset is a balm to the crotchety soul. (Quite distinct from the balm to the soul of the crotch that certain recent ex-captains seem to seek.)

    1. Last night Daisy and I were discussing the fact that we have been watching more cricket (and tennis) of late and how it has helped keep us sane (or at least a little less crazy) in these strange times.

      I wish I had been able to use the phrase “balm to the crotchety soul” in that conversation. I shall use it in future chats, though.

      Thanks, Prof.

  2. Ravindra’s dad uploaded a youtube video of him batting at six years old which did the rounds impressing people on social media in about 2008.

    I have thought about the current generation of players being the first whose ‘entire’ career from FC debut to retirement I have been able to follow. A kid I saw impressing people by being able to make a cover drive as a six year old making his debut is quite the chilling reminder of the passing of time.

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