On the second day of the first Test against South Africa on Monday (February 5), New Zealand all-rounder Rachin Ravindra smashed his maiden Test double century, setting a new batting record.
Rachin doubled his tally after scoring his maiden Test century on day one at Mount Maunganui’s Bay Oval, becoming the highest score by a maiden century-maker in New Zealand cricket history.
Ravindra broke the record of former Kiwi batter Matthew Sinclair, who scored 214 against the West Indies on his debut in 1999, by scoring 240 off 366 balls, including 26 fours and three sixes at a strike rate of over 65.
Ravindra had only played six innings prior to the Test, scoring 73 runs at an average of slightly more than 18. In four Tests and seven innings, he has scored 313 runs and increased his average to 52.16. His previous best Test score has also increased from 18* to 240.
The latest achievement also saw one of the 2023 ODI World Cup stars become one of the youngest Black Caps players to reach a Test double century. Two young left-handed batters have smashed double tons in a matter of days.
At 24 years and 79 days old, he is the second-youngest New Zealander to score a Test double century. Sinclair is the youngest Kiwi batter to score a double century, at 24 years and 47 days.
Yashasvi Jaiswal of India also scored a double century in the most recent Test against England in Visakhapatnam. At 22 years and 36 days old, he became the third youngest Indian to score a double century in Tests with a knock of 209 runs.
Rachin, who finished the ODI World Cup as the fourth-highest run-getter with 578 runs in 10 matches at an average of 106.44, including three centuries and two fifties, was named the ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year for 2023.
In the first Test match between New Zealand and South Africa, the Kiwis were bowled out for 511 in their first innings after being asked to bat first by the Proteas. In addition to Rachin’s 240, Kane Williamson made his 30th Test century.
South Africa’s debutant skipper Neil Brand was the best of the bowlers, taking 6/119, but the Proteas lost four wickets in response to the Kiwis’ massive total. On the second day, South Africa were 80/4 at stumps.