Watch: In the first Test of the two-match series against South Africa, at Mount Maunganui, Rachin Ravindra hit his maiden Test hundred.

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Asked to bat in the first Test match, New Zealand were reduced to 39-2 after Tshepo Moreki struck with his first ball in Test cricket, and Dane Paterson followed suit.

Kane Williamson (112 not out) and Rachin Ravindra (118 not out) then added an unbroken 219 as New Zealand ended the first day at the Bay Oval on 258-2. This is now New Zealand’s highest third-wicket stand and the third-highest for any wicket against South Africa.

Ravindra had impressed on Test debut, at Kanpur in 2021/22. He faced 91 balls in the fourth innings as New Zealand saved the Test match after being nine down with 52 balls remaining. He was retained for the next Test match, at Mumbai, but has played only once more in the format. Three games into his career, Ravindra had 73 runs at 14.60 and three wickets at 62.67. He had never batted in the top six.

The 2023 World Cup changed everything. Batting at No.3 as Williamson’s replacement, Ravindra scored a hundred on World Cup debut and finished the tournament with 578 runs at 64.22 along with taking five wickets.

There was, thus, some surprise when New Zealand did not pick Ravindra in the XI for the Test matches in Bangladesh that immediately followed the World Cup.

Finally included in the Test side after two years, Ravindra responded with his maiden Test hundred, albeit against a South African XI with six debutants. He flicked Paterson for two to reach the milestone, off 189 balls.

At 24 years 78 days, he became New Zealand’s third-youngest Test centurion against South Africa, after Giff Vivian (19 years 121 days) and Williamson (21 years 228 days).

Watch Rachin Ravindra bring up his maiden Test hundred: