World Test Championship: Blackcaps coach Gary Stead predicts 'big future' for newbie Rachin Ravindra

Blackcaps coach Gary Stead is championing young prospect Rachin Ravindra to have a long international career, after his maiden test call-up.

Ravindra, 21, is the freshest face in the 20-man NZ squad for their tour of England in June, picked for New Zealand for the first time, alongside Otago seamer Jacob Duffy and current New Zealand batsman Devon Conway.

While unlikely to be a first-string player on this campaign, Ravindra could be seen as a future prospect, after impressing with the New Zealand U19 programme. 

With the likes of Kane Williamson and Mitchell Santner possibly limited on the England tour, due to Indian Premier League commitments, Ravindra may debut for the first test at Lord's, starting on June 2. 

The opening batsman and capable left-arm spinner has impressed so far across all formats with New Zealand A this summer. 

At the top of the innings, Ravindra struck 112 against the full international West Indies side, then  backed up with a middle-order 144 not out against West Indies A. That same game also showed off Ravindra's all-round prospects, taking a second-innings 6/89 with the ball to spin New Zealand A to victory.

For good measure, he scored another 70 at the top of the order against Pakistan's second-stringers in their tour warm-up match.

Along with a first-class average of just under 39 with the bat for Wellington, that form has made Ravindra a tantalising prospect for the Blackcaps selectors, starting with the England tour.

"A really exciting day for Rachin in particular - his first, I guess, debut announcement of being named in a New Zealand team," says Stead. "He's a fine player in his own right.

"Any tour to England is a special tour. You get to play England in a couple of test matches and they're a fine test side as well.

"Couple that with the carrot of the World Test Championship final at the end and it just makes it a pretty memorable first tour for Rachin to go on."

A star for New Zealand's junior side, Ravindra has long been a name on cricket fans' lips. 

Now he’s starting to find consistency for Wellington and New Zealand A, Stead didn't hold back in his appraisal of Ravindra and the player he can be for the Blackcaps in years to come.

"He's a very, very natural strokemaker and looks as though he's got his game in order with the bat.

"In terms of his left-arm spin, I see him being quite an attacking left-arm spinner, as well. He's still young in learning that, but from what I've seen in his development, the way he's gone about it has been fast.

"I definitely see there's a big future for him playing for New Zealand for a long period of time.

"[It's] too early to know that for sure, but depending on what team shapes up, he could still line up and have a first test match at Lord's, which would be another great experience."

The only headache over Ravindra's involvement would come in the role he'd play. 

Capable of opening the batting, Ravindra could also take the role of the all-rounder, competing with the likes of Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner and Daryl Mitchell for that one position, should selectors choose not to throw him to the wolves.

"We've got an option to do both,” says Stead. “He opens for Wellington, so it's certainly an option that we will consider, but if we don't think he's quite ready or the balance doesn't fit right, he also has that option to slot in at six or seven, and be that spinning all-rounder there as well."

The Blackcaps tour of England begins with a warm-up match against Somerset on May 25, before two tests at Lord's (June 2) and Edgbaston (June 10).