Riyan Parag maybe the star of the future, but for now he is an overrated brat on social media. 2022 IPL may have brought the spotlight at him, but it has also played a part spoiling his public image of an innocent good boy from Guwahati. His flare-ups with Harshal Patel only made him a scapegoat for many.
Nevertheless, the 21-year-old Parag hasn’t looked down from giving caution to the wind. Perhaps, it is his ability that makes him stand out from the rest of his age group. Batting lower down the order is not for everyone and yet he continues to get the opportunity at that very spot, playing for Rajasthan Royals.
In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, he mentioned how no one has been able to master that skill, except MS Dhoni.
“It’s the tougher job in T20 cricket, to just come in and slog. Numbers six and seven are the hardest places to play in T20 cricket. Only some of the guys have mastered it. Not even some, I’ll just say only MS Dhoni has mastered it and no one else has.”
And I am doing it at such an early stage in my career. Not even master it, I am just getting to close to knowing what it all feels like – I am just sorting my way through it. So people can just talk whatever they want, but I know how hard a job it is and my team believes in me.”
He was first bought in 2019 by Rajasthan Royals for 20 Lakh, but continues to be retained. What are those traits that convinced the management to retain the Assam youngster.
“I think it’s very simple for me. The message is always clear: they believe in my abilities. 90 percent of the people don’t see what’s going on inside the team, how I am performing in practice matches, what I am doing. Everyone just sees the end product, which has been a bit rough for me. So everyone judges me on that.”
Despite being backed, Parag’s numbers are not that great. In 2022, he accounted for 183 runs in 7 matches; in 2021, he had 93 runs in 11 games. That’s an overall average of around 14. But it was 2020 edition which was the lowest for him.
“2020 was a very low point in my career. And then, I talked a lot to myself and I figured out that only my opinion matters and no one else’s does. Even if Sangakkara and Sanju Samson tell good things about me and if I don’t believe in them, I think it doesn’t really make any sense or doesn’t have any impact on myself.”