Youngster Riyan Parag has caught a lot of attention with his blazing knocks for the Rajasthan Royals at the Indian Premier League 2019. The IPL over the years has been a great stage for young talents like him to showcase themselves at the highest level and this season, without any doubts, he emerged as one of the fine prospects to watch out for.
Parag returned with 160 runs in 5 innings and maintained a strike rate of 127 this season. The most impressive of them all was the match-winning 47 against Kolkata Knight Riders and also the half-century against Delhi Capitals. The 17-year-old also holds the record for being the youngest to score a half-century in the IPL, beating the record previously in possession of his U19 captain Prithvi Shaw.
In an exclusive interview with CricTracker, Riyan talked at length about his experience with some stalwarts in the tournament. He also opened up on the viral picture circulating on social media, where an 8-year-old Riyan Parag was snapped alongside MS Dhoni back in the time. He also revealed how it felt to meet him during the IPL after all these years.
“I didn’t talk to him about the picture of course. It was nostalgic, he was there at a shooting and my dad and him were good friends so I got a snap with him. Now playing with him, even though he caught me (in the game against CSK), I was a bit disappointed but IPL does that to you. You get to play with or against your legends. I’m grateful to RR for picking me and giving me this opportunity. And I’m happy I contributed to the team a little bit,” Parag said.
Tried to copy Smriti’s stance growing up
When he was asked about the heroes he looks up to, Parag said his dad, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli were some of the biggest heroes of his life. He also expressed his admiration for Smriti Mandhana, the ICC Women’s Player of the year 2018. He said he really enjoys her batting and also tried to copy her stance.
“My dad, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and Smriti Mandhana in women’s cricket. I remember watching Smriti when she had spectacles, I was small back then and enjoyed when she caressed it through the covers. I tried copying that stance too,” he added.
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