Cricket: Blackcaps wary of burning out brightest star Rachin Ravindra after colossal 2023

After the biggest 12 months of his career, the Blackcaps are taking steps to avoid burnout for their brightest young star, Rachin Ravindra.  

The 24-year-old took his chance with both hands to become a Blackcaps regular in 2023, courtesy of a breakthrough World Cup campaign.  

In 10 games, Ravindra scored 578 runs at an average of more than 64, with centuries against England, Australia and Pakistan.

Rachin Ravindra celebrates his century against Pakistan.
Rachin Ravindra celebrates his century against Pakistan. Photo credit: Getty Images

In fact, the all-rounder's scoring was so prolific, his tally is the most by any player at their first World Cup in the game's history.  

But that success has left the Blackcaps wary over Ravindra, though.  

In the hope of avoiding burnout, the all-rounder has been rested from the five-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan starting on Friday.  

What's more, Ravindra will be managed at all levels, with his participation in the Super Smash for Wellington to also take a back seat to afford a break from playing.  

"Even though Rachin's young, he's not immune to touring life, and the rigours that can take on you," said coach Gary Stead.  

"He definitely wants to play cricket, he wants to play as much as he can. But we want him to do it in a really good state and make sure that when he is playing for New Zealand, we get the very best out of him.  

"There's obviously ups and downs that you have with form. But one thing we can control is people being in a good headspace, being ready to go, and being their best.   

"Sometimes everyone needs a break, and Rachin's no different to anyone else."  

Last year saw Ravindra take the field in 25 ODIs, behind only Tom Latham's 30 and Daryl Mitchell's 26. On top of that, Ravindra played another 13 times in Twenty20 Internationals.  

Aside from playing, Ravindra was also part of New Zealand's touring squad to Pakistan, England and Bangladesh, seeing him spend more time away from home than his previous years of international cricket.

And while the Blackcaps' international schedule isn't as full as it was last year, given the lack of 50-over cricket until late 2024, there is still a T20 World Cup Ravindra can contend for.  

Ravindra's success at the World Cup also saw him net a $350,000 contract to represent Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.  

However, given Chennai's standings in global cricket with teams in South Africa's SA20 and American Major League Cricket, Ravindra could also be signed up to take his game around the world over the coming months.