One of New Zealand cricket's fast-rising prospects could soon get his first crack at international level.
21-year-old Rachin Ravindra has been included in the Black Caps' 20-strong squad to travel to England for their upcoming two-test series.
Ravindra was called by Stead on Wednesday but couldn't answer as he was flying back from Auckland following Wellington's final first-class Plunket Shield match of the season. Once landed he rang back and was elated to hear the news.
The Wellington native feels the selection isn't premature in the scheme of his young career.
"You always welcome it when it comes, but I'm not sure you'd say early. You kind of take it game by game and if it comes great, but if it doesn't you work your way towards getting here."
Stead was complimentary of Ravindra's game at such a young age.
"He's a very natural stroke-maker, it looks as though he's got his game in order with the bat. In terms of his left-arm spin, I see him as being quite an attacking left-arm spinner. He's still young and learning that, but from what I've seen, his development and the way he's gone about it has been fast and I definitely see there's a big future for him playing in New Zealand for a long period of time."
Ravindra's long been touted as one of New Zealand's top young cricketing talents, and his inclusion in an international side has been foreshadowed since his early exploits in the domestic game.
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In 42 innings in first-class cricket Ravindra's knocked three centuries and nine fifties at an average of 38.7, and while his bowling average is unflattering (58.2) he took six wickets in his final Shield match and claimed 6-89 against West Indies A in December.
With the bat, he also notched twin hundreds for the New Zealand A side against the touring West Indies and a century last month against Northern Districts on his return from a dislocated shoulder he suffered in January, which kept him out for two months.
Ravindra says the shoulder – which was a repeat of an injury from four years ago – feels "completely fine".
So what does the youngster want to achieve on his first international carousel? Taking advantage of the talent and experience around him is high on the list.
"I'd like to take a lot from those world class players the Black Caps have, I think if I can learn how to be a bit more tactically aware and understand my game a little but more and learn how to play in those English conditions - I think that's going to ultimately help in the long run," Ravindra says.
"Ultimately if I do get the opportunity to play, would like to contribute to winning test matches for New Zealand first of all. But it would be a great learning experience whether we win games, lose games, even if I don't play, so whatever comes I'll just try and be like a sponge and soak in as much as I can."