> With back-to back blitzkrieg in IPL 2024, Assam star batter Riyan Parag says he has arrived - নিয়মীয়া খবৰ




With back-to back blitzkrieg in IPL 2024, Assam star batter Riyan Parag says he has arrived

The Assam star batter Raiyan Parag has finally come of age with an extraordinary innings with back-to-back match-winning knocks for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2024.

In RR’s opening game of the season against Lucknow in Jaipur, Riyan played the sidekick to Sanju Samson, stitching a 93-run partnership in their total of 193 on Sunday.

And yet again on Thursday, Parag struck a stunning 84 not out off 45 balls to single-handedly take Rajasthan Royals to 185 for 5 in their IPL match against Delhi Capitals on Thursday.

Parag, who made 43 in the Royals’ previous match, took 25 runs off veteran South African pacer Anrich Nortje with scores of 4, 4, 6, 4, 6, 1 in the final over to hit his highest T20 score. 

He helped Rajasthan recover from 36 for 3 to post 185 on the board in 20 overs on a pitch that was not entirely easy for the batters.

The knock is a coming-of-age moment for the 22-year-old after he faced backlash last season amid a string of poor performances.

Riyan struggled to cement a place in the starting eleven, and scored just 70 runs in seven innings at an average of 13. His overall IPL run haul was 600 after 51 games, raising questions if he can perform at the highest level.

Riyan, however, turned the tide later in the year, scoring 354 runs in five innings in the Deodhar Trophy for East Zone. He followed it up with 510 runs in 10 innings for Assam in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, registering a record seven-consecutive half centuries.

For his exploits, Riyan was named the best all-rounder of the 2023 season at the BCCI Naman Awards.

This IPL, Riyan was promoted to the number four spot by the RR management. While he scored a 29-ball 43 in the side’s opener against Lucknow Super Giants, Riyan converted his start in the second game against DC.

At 17, Riyan made his IPL debut in 2019 and went on to play 55 matches for the franchise without much to show for. There was no doubting the Assam youngster’s talent. There were glimpses of it in the U19 World Cup in 2018 and in the previous seasons with Rajasthan.

However, Riyan was never able to translate that into consistent performances. His on-field antics and flamboyant and straightforward social media posts irked many, especially at a time when he spoke more than his bat did.

Taking to X Surya Kumar Yadav wrote, “Met a guy at NCA few weeks ago. He came with a slight niggle. Completely focused on his recovery and with great discipline working on his skills. And I was not wrong to tell that to one of the coaches there ‘He is a changed guy’ RIYAN PARAG 2.0 Watch out.”

Praising the young cricketer, broadcaster Harsha Bhogle said: “The seeds of this sensational innings from Riyan Parag were sown in domestic cricket. Delighted for him.”

Impressed by the knock, former cricketer Irfan Pathan predicted that Riyan will be playing for India. “In the next two years Riyan Parag is playing for India,” he wrote on X.

Riyan Parag looks like a magically different player. He is composed, he is calm and more mature in terms of his batting and the way he has been sharing his thoughts in IPL 2024.

Before he turned up for the match on Thursday, Riyan Parag was down with flu. The young batter said he was on bed rest for 3 days. The delight on his face after having battled illness and played an awe-inspiring knock told the story on Thursday.

“I’ve had to work very hard,” Parag said at the post-match presentation. “For the last three days, I was in bed, sick. I just got up with painkillers and could manage today. I’m happy for myself.”

Riyan worked incredibly hard during the off-season, with help from Rajasthan and his father, Parag Das. Zubin Barucha, the Director of High Performance of the Rajasthan IPL franchise, took time out to work hard on Riyan’s skills and there was no surprise when the young batter scored truckloads of runs in the domestic season before IPL 2024.

‘I have put in a lot of practice. I had my options ready for both sides of the wicket; I was backing my strengths. I was confident that I could get a lot of runs. It wasn’t easy for a new batter to come and score, you needed someone to stay until the end. It’s been tough, I’m a bit emotional now, I have worked hard and seeing the fruits of it now,” Riyan told the official broadcaster after the innings.

Riyan scored 354 runs in the Deodhar Trophy zonal 50-over tournament to top the batting charts at an average of 88.50. Riyan took it to another level in Syed Mushtaq Ali domestic T20 tournament, hitting 510 runs in 10 matches at an average of 85 and strike rate of 182 as he led Assam to a semi-final finish.

All Riyan needs to do is keep his head down and steady and keep smacking them into the stands. He might just make the India cap an inevitable possession in his kitbag sooner rather than later.

While it is still early in the season, the RR management would hope Riyan continues to repay its faith in the new role and add to his runs tally.

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