India have been mobbed by the expat community in Christchurch, but there was a known face for Ravindra Jadeja and Ishant Sharma. Jeet Raval had played against them when he represented the Gujarat Under-15 team, but he had to leave cricket - momentarily - when his parents decided to move to New Zealand when he was 16. After three years of waiting, he has qualified for selection to the New Zealand team, having made his first-class debut for Auckland against the touring West Indians.

When he met Jadeja and Ishant, he was representing the Emerging New Zealand Players who were taking on the England Lions in the ground next to where the Indians were practising.

Raval was also Parthiv Patel's opening partner when he played for Vidyanagar School in Ahmedabad and remembers playing with Mohnish Parmar and Bhavik Thaker as well. All three of his mates were big performers this Ranji season.

The path however, was different for Raval. "It was a difficult decision [to leave India]. I was always into cricket, and I didn't know if I would be able to carry on with it in New Zealand," Raval says. But it was a big moment in his father's career, and so he moved along.

The Ravals came to Auckland, with a son educated in Gujarati-medium school and with cricketing ambitions. But there was little to worry - not only did he pick up the language fast, he did not feel like an outsider on the cricket field. He had his inspiration in New Zealand spinner Deepak Patel, who went on to become his mentor.

In three year's time, Raval made it to the New Zealand Under-19 team, playing against the likes of Dhawal Kulkarni, Ajinkya Rahane and Piyush Chawla - big names on the Indian domestic circuit as well.

Raval had left one country, moved to another, and was accepted in the new nation - based on his talent as a left-hand middle-order batsman - in that three-year period. Even he fails to make the cut for the New Zealand team, in his mind he is sure that his talent will get its due. Like the diving catch he took today to dismiss Robert Key got, with Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan running their laps in the background.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo