Riyan Parag confident of playing for India in future despite outside noise

Assam and Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Riyan Parag is confident of his prospects of playing for India following his consistent run in the recently conlcluded Vijay Hazare Trophy 2022-23.

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“My goal to play as an all-rounder for India”

Riyan Parag, who was a part of India’s Under-19 World Cup winning squad in 2018 in New Zealand, was looked upon as one of the country’s future stars then, and he showed glimpses of his potential in the IPL that year after being roped in by the Rajasthan Royals. He was retained by the franchise for the next two editions, and was bought again at INR 3.80 crores, but couldn’t quite produce performances of note.

Parag has been a subject of social media trolling and criticism, and the Assam all-rounder says that has only motivated him grow and evolve in his game. He enjoyed a stellar run in the in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2022-23, aggregating 552 runs at 69 and a strike-rate of 123.21 with three hundreds and a fifty, while also bagging 10 wickets in Assam’s run to the semi-final.

Parag stated that he “needed something to learn from”, while stating of his aim to play as an all-rounder for India.

“Playing No.6/7 in a high pressure T20 game is a tough job but will only build your character. The external noise is always there. Everyone talked about how the management backed me but no one really threw light on why they are backing me,” he told cricketnext.com

“2020 was a really low point in my career. 2019 was banger of a season and then coming into 2020 and doing literally nothing… apart from one game I think. There was lot of outside noise then and I am really glad and grateful that happened. I needed something to learn from. I needed my backs against the wall so that I can come back and prove myself to myself. Not anybody else. Even if Sanga or Sanju back me or believe in me and I don’t really believe in what they are saying about me or game, then there’s no point. 

“I have been prioritising myself and my opinions about myself. I can surely play for India in the next years so I am just sticking to that and working, working and only working towards that.”

Parag further stressed on how bowling regularly in the Vijay Hazare Trophy helped his confidence, while acknowledging the learnings acquired from Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal during the IPL.

“First it helps my domestic team, second It helps my IPL team too and third it’s my goal to play as an all-rounder for India,” he said of his bowling. “I don’t want to play as a pure batter. I have been putting in a lot of work in the off season and last year with Ash bhai (R Ashwin) and Yuzi bhai (Yuzvendra Chahal) being in the team helped a lot. You know learning new things from them and keeping my composure while bowling.”