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Rachin Ravindra learning on the job in Bangladesh

Though his batting is yet to come good, the left-arm fingerspinning allounder has picked up four wickets in two T20Is

Deivarayan Muthu
Rachin Ravindra celebrates a wicket with his team-mates, Bangladesh vs New Zealand, 2nd T20I, Dhaka, September 3, 2021

Rachin Ravindra picked up a three-for in the second T20I in Mirpur  •  AFP/Getty Images

Rachin Ravindra had fairly a low-key return to the scene of his first Under-19 World Cup from more than five years ago, falling for a golden duck in New Zealand's drubbing in the first T20I against Bangladesh. Two days later, Ravindra claimed 3 for 22 - his best T20 figures - to stall Bangladesh's progress after their openers had struck up a 59-run stand.
At first, Liton Das unleashed a slog-swept six to unsettle Ravindra, but the left-arm fingerspinner responded by shortening his length, finding some turn and having the batter playing on for 33 off 29 balls. Next ball, he tricked Mushfiqur Rahim to such an extent that a master of these conditions was stumped for a duck. The hat-trick ball was darted into the surface, stopping on it so much that Shakib Al Hasan almost spooned a return catch.
Ravindra had success bowling at the death too, sliding one away from Mohammad Naim's swinging arc and having him dragging a catch to long-on. "Yeah, it was nice," the up-and-coming allrounder said as he recalled the spell. "I think it was good to be able to break up partnerships a little bit and contribute a bit; ultimately lead to a few poles and a couple of dots. It was good to have those comms, especially Tommy [Latham]; just discussing with them [about] how to go about it and I think that sort of helped me a lot in being able to bounce off those senior guys."
Ravindra said that pushing the ball quicker through the air and bowling into the pitch is his default mode of operation in T20 cricket. The other left-arm fingerspinner, Ajaz Patel, reaped 1 for 7 in his four overs in the first match with a similar bowling style.
"That's usually how I look to bowl in T20s - trying to bowl a little bit back of a length that sticks hard and in these conditions. It works quite well [here] because the odd ball can skid or turn and it's quite hard to hit down the ground using that pace."
Adapting to Dhaka's pitches as a batter though is an entirely different proposition. Ravindra has made only 10 runs in two innings. It had been a similar struggle at the 2016 Under-19 World Cup, where he managed 58 runs in five innings at strike rate of 54.20.
Ravindra understands he needs to do more. "It'll be nice to bat a little bit longer and hopefully contribute a few more runs towards a win," he said. "I think it's about hitting good cricket shots on these sort of wickets. You play good cricket shots, you're going to get that boundary eventually. You don't necessarily need to manufacture too much, but seeing the way he [Latham] played to his strengths and hit his sweeps, [it] looks like he was well-prepared."
Despite suffering back-to-back losses and facing a must-win situation so early in the series, Ravindra said the mood in the camp was upbeat and that New Zealand weren't too far away from clicking in unison.
"As I said, the improvement between game one and game two is incredible, maybe on a slightly better surface, but it showed in our batting, especially the way we were able to adapt. I think that's great signs coming up for our next three games. We can look to take learnings from here and we are still not firing on all cylinders. Hopefully, we can get it right next game and get our combinations right and hopefully [get] a win."

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo