Rajasthan Royals didn’t have a great season last year but they did give some limelight to a young all-rounder from Guwahati. Riyan Parag was the silver lining of Royals’ otherwise average season. The 18-year-old had scored 160 runs at an average of 32 and strike rate of more than 126. The youngster also picked up two wickets.
Parag, who has just given his class 12th boards recently revealed how Steve Smith has had a good influence on him. In an interview, he revealed how Smith has helped him gain some good cricketing knowledge which has helped him in his batting.
Riyan Parag recalled Steve Smith would tell him to calm down when the pressure was on him with huge crowds coming in stadiums. “Of course, I have had a lot of chats with both Steve and Jos Buttler. They helped me a lot during the IPL. When you are batting with someone of Smith’s calibre and 30,000 people are watching you, it gets a bit tough. He would advise me to be calm and not think about the pressure”, Parag was quoted as saying by India Today.
I love the way Steve leaves the ball, says 18-year-old Riyan Parag
The 18-year-old then went on to praise Smith for his unique technique. Riyan Parag described why Smith’s unorthodox batting style helps him to leave the ball easily. He did admit that the skill is difficult but the former Australia skipper has already mastered it. “I love the way Steve leaves the ball. You don’t just go by the looks of it but you’ve got to think why does he leave the ball like that.
What is the reason? The bat is hanging out and body and legs are in sync, you see that not many players can leave the ball with their body. It’s a difficult art that he has mastered. Luckily, I have imbibed some of it in my Ranji season after talking to him”, added Parag. The young all-rounder played for Assam in the recently concluded Ranji season. and amassed 492 runs with one century and three half-centuries. He also picked up 12 wickets.
Riyan Parag, who was part of the World Cup winning India U19 squad of 2018, further discussed the technique which helps Smith to counter the swing. He also revealed that Smith has explained him and given tips to improve his batting. “It’s just not the bat (shouldering arms). He covers all the stumps while leaving the ball. That was an education for me as he told me how he does it.
“I tried copying him and tried leaving balls on the off-stump channel with all stumps covered. Steve told me that more I cover the ball with the body and leave it, the bowler will be forced to bowl a few on the pads which are the strength of any batsman. Then he can score runs”, Riyan Parag said.
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