Rajasthan Royals wonderkid Riyan Parag, who endured a tough IPL 2020, has attested that his primary goal this season is to contribute more with both bat and ball this season, something he feels he did not do last year. In IPL 2020, Parag averaged just 12.28 with the bat, while bowling just 2 overs.
After becoming the youngest half-centurion in IPL history in 2019, much was expected from the blade of a matured Riyan Parag in IPL 2020, but things did not go the way of the 19-year-old last season as he struggled immeasurably in the middle-order, scoring just 86 runs across 8 innings at an average of 12.28. In his debut season, his part-time leg-spin too rendered useful for the Royals, but the youngster also rarely rolled his arm over last season, bowling just 2 overs, conceding 27 runs in the process.
Ear-marked as one of the superstars of tomorrow, the Royals, despite Parag’s lean-run in IPL 2020, chose to retain the youngster for the forthcoming edition and the Assam star is keen to repay the faith this time around. Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, Parag asserted that, this season, he is eager to make more match-winning contributions with both bat and ball, having not done so last year.
“I haven’t set any particular personal goals but I think I need to contribute more with both bat and ball. I was less consistent last year and this year I think the goal is to get those crucial 30-40 runs to help the team,” Parag said in a video posted by ESPN Cricinfo.
Parag is only one of multiple designated all-rounders in the Rajasthan side, with the likes of Ben Stokes, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomror and Liam Livingstone all having the ability to contribute significantly with both bat and ball. The 19-year-old described this all-round base of Rajasthan as the side’s biggest strength.
“Our side’s biggest strength is that we’re an all-round team. We bat really deep and I think almost 7-8 players in our team can bowl. We are very versatile and that, I think, is our biggest strength.”
Rajasthan won a total of just six games last season, but while they did manage to beat a host of top sides, including champions Mumbai, one side they came up short against - not once, but twice - was Delhi. Parag asserted that he and his teammates are eager to face the Capitals this time around, in the hope of avenging the twin defeats last season.
“I’m looking forward to playing Delhi. We lost both our matches against them last year, so we’ve to prove that we are a better team. Looking forward to facing them.”
Rarely do youngsters of this generation get plenty of exposure to world-class bowling in their teenage, but Parag is one of the lucky few who has grown up facing Tier 1 bowlers from the age of 17. The youngster has not conquered any bowler as such, yet, but the 19-year-old asserted that he is itching to face South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada, who he feels is one of the best in the business.
“Excited to face Kagiso Rabada. I think he is one of the top most bowlers in the world and I think he’s one of the quickest I’ve faced. So yes, I want to face him.”