Cricket World Cup: Blackcaps phenomenon Rachin Ravindra closing in on historic achievement

Rising Blackcaps star Rachin Ravindra is just one run away from breaking a long-standing Cricket World Cup record - and it belongs to one of the greatest in the game.

Stepping up to fill the shoes of injured captain Kane Williamson, Ravindra has made the most of his chances, scoring three centuries already at the 50-over tournament in India.

From eight innings, he has scored 523 runs, equaling Indian great Sachin Tendulkar's 1996 tally, which was the most any batter aged younger than 25 has ever scored at one World Cup.  

Rachin Ravindra celebrates third century of the Cricket World Cup.
Rachin Ravindra celebrates third century of the Cricket World Cup. Photo credit: Getty Images

Blackcaps batting coach Luke Ronchi has watched Ravindra's rise, since he started playing domestically for Wellington, so his success comes as no surprise.

"Phenomenal tournament to score three hundreds and score the runs he has, a couple of fifties, and the calmness he's showed out in the middle," reflected Ronchi. "With Kane not being available for the first couple of games, Rachin came in and really grabbed his opportunity.

"He's been in different situations in different matches, and he's shown a level head and maturity beyond his age, I think."

Ravindra joins prestigious company, with Tendulkar, Pakistan captain Babar Azam and Australia's Steve Smith the only players to score more than 400 runs at World Cup, aged under 25.  

He'll get a chance to etch his own name into the history books, when the Blackcaps take on Sri Lanka on Thursday (NZ time) at Bengaluru.

The game is a must-win for New Zealand, who are tied with Pakistan and Afghanistan for fourth on eight points, but with a superior net run rate.

The Blackcaps have been riddled with injuries, with Matt Henry out of the tournament, and Kane Williamson, Tom Southee and Lockie Ferguson missing several games, but Ronchi confirms they can choose from a full complement for their final group match.

Blackcaps pace bowler Lockie Ferguson bowling in a net session.
Blackcaps pace bowler Lockie Ferguson bowling in a net session. Photo credit: Getty Images

"[Ferguson] had a good bowl today," he said. "We obviously have another training tomorrow morning to get through, but my understanding is that we should be able to pick from a full squad of players.

"That it will be quite exciting to see Lockie out on the park again, if selected."

The Blackcaps will play back-to-back at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, after their a 21-run rain-affected defeat to Pakistan on Saturday. They expect much of the same in the way of conditions and high scores.

"Unless there is something different that's gone on in the preparation of the surface, I'd imagine it will be another high-scoring affair.

"The batters will be licking their lips and the bowlers will know it's going to be a bit of tough work, but that's been the story for the majority of the World Cup."

Join Newshub at 9:30pm Thursday for live updates of the Blackcaps v Sri Lanka World Cup match