Blackcaps in India: Gary Stead lauds composure of young star Rachin Ravindra following match-saving innings in Kanpur test

Showing the composure of a player many years his senior, Rachin Ravindra's match-saving effort against India is a great sign for the future of New Zealand cricket, says coach Gary Stead.

The left-handed all-rounder made his test debut in Kanpur and while he failed to take a wicket in either innings, his 90-minute, 91-ball effort with the bat on the final evening showed he has the temperament to make the most of his undoubted talent.

Ravindra, 22 has had a prodigious career in age-group cricket, singled out early as a Blackcaps in the making, and for Stead, the first test proves his future is bright.

"He showed the composure that we knew he had," Stead says.

"For Rachin, it's proof to himself that he belongs at this level. You always have doubts when you go to the next level, but he showed the composure that belies his age which is fantastic for us in the long run.

"Delighted for him. It's a debut test he will always remember. 

"Really special innings and a real moment for him."

Ravindra and No.11 batsman Ajaz Patel survived a harrowing final 30 minutes before bad light caused an early finish of the test, with India a wicket shy of completing victory.

The test in Kanpur was the first in the Blackcaps' World Test Championship defence and Stead says grabbing early points is a great achievement for his side in conditions very foreign to most of the squad.

"For Ajaz and Rachin to come through that was really special for our team to take some [World Test Championship] points out of a hard-fought game in India.

"I can't emphasise enough about how hard that is to do over here, especially when you get the challenge of the other side of the conditions with bat and ball when you lose the toss.

"I thought there was a lot of commitment and courage shown against three of who I think are the best spinners - in their own conditions - in the world.

"With men around the bat it just adds to the whole drama of test cricket and it's not often you can say draws in test cricket are exciting but that's what yesterday was."

Focus now switches to Mumbai and a wicket that might favour New Zealand's squad more than the dust bowl in the first test.

Stead says Neil Wagner will come into consideration for a spot after carrying the drinks in Kanpur, with Will Somerville preferred as a second spinning option.

"It's always hard when you go into a test match and Neil Wagner is the guy you've left out.

"But we made that decision to have two seamers, two spinners and Rachin with the all-round option.  

"You have to make those tough decisions and that was a tough one, but Neil being the man he is he took that on the chin, but if he gets the opportunity in Mumbai I am sure he will be champing at the bit and be ready to go.

"The red clay wickets tend to bounce a bit more. The seamers can have quite an impact early in the match  in Mumbai, so that'll be something we will look at when we are there to make that final decision on what the makeup of our team looks like."

The test gets underway on Friday evening.

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