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Rajasthan Royals’ rising star Riyan Parag has claimed that it was a dream come true for him to play alongside the likes of Steve Smith and Ben Stokes and further heaped praise on the former’s captaincy. The youngster further revealed that he is conscious about not letting success get to his head.
While IPL 2019 was a disappointing campaign for Rajasthan Royals as a team, finishing seventh in the table, they did, however, find a silver lining in the form of Assam youngster Riyan Parag. A compact batsman who can bowl some handy leg-spin, Parag scored 160 runs at an average of 32.00 for the Royals in IPL 2019 and in the game against Delhi Capitals at Arun Jaitley Stadium on May 4th, the right-hander became the youngest batsman to score a fifty in the history of the Indian Premier League.
It has certainly been a dream start to his IPL career for the youngster but Parag has revealed that more than the performances, he cherishes playing alongside greats of the game such as Ben Stokes and Steve Smith. The 18-year-old revealed that some funky advice from Stokes helped him settle his nerves out in the middle in a game against CSK and further heaped praise on Smith’s leadership qualities.
“It feels like a dream come true to share the dressing room with legends like Steve Smith and Ben Stokes,” TOI quoted Parag as saying.
“As I have even mentioned in the (RR) documentary, when I came out to bat versus CSK, Stokesy (Ben Stokes) told me to play without pressure as if it was a gully cricket match.
“I admire how Smudge (Smith) backed all the bowlers, especially young players like me. He is a great leader and I enjoyed playing under him.”
At just 18 years of age, Parag has played over a dozen first-class games and is a star in the IPL and if there’s one thing that sport has taught us, it’s that there’s no bigger threat to a youngster’s career than the phenomenon called ‘fame’. Parag acknowledged this and admitted that it was important to not let success get to his head and revealed that he is lucky to be associated with the Royals.
“I had a very good season last year and feel lucky to be with the Rajasthan Royals. I don’t like to take pressure from the outside. It is more about preparing for the situation that is ahead of you,” Riyan Parag said.
“I like to be in the zone when I am in the middle and I don’t pay much attention to what people are talking about me or my performance. It obviously feels good to hear nice things about you but I do not let success get into my head.”