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Fri, 23 Aug 2019

Northeast Today

Riyan, Keep Thy Feet Grounded Mate!

Riyan, Keep Thy Feet Grounded Mate!
July 05
13:16 2019

With some scintillating performances at the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019, Assam Riyan Parag while playing for the Rajasthan Royals (RR) did earn a fan-base for himself and the cricket enthusiasts from the state are leaving no stone unturned to praise the 17-year-old. The people of the state, in him (Parag), see the player who could become Assam and Northeast’s first ever cricketer to don the Blue colours.  Partha Prawal explores more.

 

Riyan Parag

 

The IPL Debut

Bought at his base price of Rs 20 lakh, Riyan Parag played seven IPL matches in his debut season for Rajasthan Royals and made a decent enough contribution for his side. His first match was against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), in which he scored a breezy 16 of 14 balls before being caught by MS Dhoni of Shardul Thakur’s bowling.

His 50 in 49 balls (for a losing cause) against Delhi Capitals (DC) was his best show with the bat. With this half-century to his name, Parag became the youngest player in IPL history to score a fifty. Apart from the lone 50, Parag also scored 43 runs (in just 29 balls) and shared a 70-run partnership with skipper Steve Smith in a match against the Mumbai Indians. This gutsy inning earned him a lot of fans from across the cricketing world.

Ace cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle in his Twitter handle, praising Parag’s gutsy performance against Mumbai Indians, wrote, “Very impressed with young Riyan Parag. Something about him. #RR have been really positive today and negated spin by taking 48 from 4 overs off K Pandya and Markande.”

Former team India all-rounder Irfan Pathan after Parag’s gutsy innings of 47 against the Mumbai Indians, Tweeted, “This boy Riyan Parag has Solid cricketing attitude #Assam #RRvsMI.”

He also scored a brilliant 47 in 31 balls against the Kolkata Knight Riders, eventually handing his team a 3-wicket victory over the Dinesh Karthik-led side.

Overall, it was a decent show in the season. The youngster played in seven (7) matches for his side and scored 160 with an average of 32 and a strike-rate of 126.98. He also bowled 14 overs and claimed 2 wickets by giving away 121 runs at an economy rate of 8.64. His best bowling performance was 1/10.

Parag’s debut season shall be remembered for a few other things as well like his unique style of celebrating a wicket by dancing ‘Bihu’.

 

 

The Way Forward

After the 51-day long tournament ended with Mumbai Indians lifting the trophy for a record fourth time, the young heartthrob from Assam landed at the Lokopriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport to some roaring applause and greetings. He was given a hero’s welcome, and he deserved it or did he?

Riyan Parag, undoubtedly, is a brilliant young talent and he could possibly become the first Assamese cricketer to don the Indian colours in the near future. Experts and critics have labelled him as one of the most exciting young players in the country right now. He has played some scintillating innings for India juniors and at the first class level. His Under-19 World Cup teammates- Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill have already knocked the Indian team’s door and there are quite a few from the squad who are raring to go. What Riyan needs to do now is focus on his game and improve it further. If his performances from the Under 19 WC is analysed, one could easily see where he lacks- consistency. He needs to tighten the loose ends in his bowling and also fix the batting glitches.

However, the most important thing that young Parag needs to do is stay away from the media spotlight. Assam, in the past, has produced players like Riyan Parag who just fizzled away in the trail of glamour.

It has also been observed previously that Assam’ players on achieving a little success, their ego get extremely inflated and a sense of pride creeps within. This leads to the downfall of their form and eventually, they vanish from public memory.

Media also helps in catalysing this ego by praising them unnecessarily for the most trivial things they achieve. In Riyan’s case too, media has already begun portraying him in such a way as if he has achieved a lot in cricket and is already a superstar. Let’s realise that he is not yet a hero and he has a long road to travel.

In his press conference, after his return from the IPL, I found in him a guy whose feet are ‘yet grounded’, but they may soon just start flying high.

As a cricket fan, I will definitely love to watch him play at a future ICC Cricket World Cup and win the cup for India. But it is a dream right now and all he needs to do presently is work hard on his game and improve it every second.

IPL 2019 was just the first step and the stairway to success has another million steps to scale. He will also have to compete against a ‘100 other Riyan Parags’.

Keep your feet grounded in the present times mate and enjoy decades of success!

 

BOX ITEM

TRIVIA

  • Riyan Parag’s father Parag Das also played cricket for Assam
  • His mother Mithu Baruah was an ace swimmer from Assam
  • Parag was India’s second highest run-getter behind Prithvi Shaw in the youth Tests and played a crucial role during India’s win in Chesterfield
  • In the 2016-17 Cooch Behar Trophy, Parag scored 642 runs in 14 innings with the best score of an unbeaten 202
  • In his debut Ranji match, MS Dhoni’s first victim was Riyan’s father Parag Das
  • It was MS Dhoni who caught Riyan in his debut IPL match

 

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