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‘Only MS Dhoni has mastered it and I am doing it at such an early stage in my career’




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Despite not performing up to his potential in the last two editions of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Rajasthan Royals management continues to show faith in Riyan Parag as they retained the Assam-born cricketer for yet another season. 

Slotting in at mostly six or seven, the 21-year-old, at a strike rate of 138.64, scored 183 runs in 17 matches in the last edition of the marquee tournament. He is also a handy bowler and has done well with the ball during his U19 days. But during IPL 2022, he only bowled four overs and was highly expensive as he conceded runs at an alarming rate of 14.75.

Now, despite not churning out the runs for his franchise, Parag is confident about his abilities and has even drawn subtle similarities with the legendary 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,” Parag said while talking to Sportskeeda.

Parag states the reason behind RR’s backing

The Rajasthan Royals management has backed Parag from the beginning. In 2022, the franchise bought him back for INR 3.80 crore and gave him numerous opportunities but he couldn’t capitalise. Despite that, the RR management has retained him and the 21-year-old revealed the reason behind the move.

Parag believes that he is judged only by the numbers but the Royals management is aware of the damage he can do. He expects to return with big numbers in the next edition of the IPL.

“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,” Parag said.

“But the whole Royal family knows what I am capable of and what I have done in practice or even shown glimpses of it in matches. So the belief has always been there. They have backed me for four years. This is my fifth year now and I hope to repay them soon,” he added.