Excited to share the dressing room with Ravichandran Ashwin, young Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Riyan Parag said he wants to “pick the brains” of the ace Indian off-spinner in the upcoming IPL.
Ashwin has been one of the star additions to RR’s squad as he was bought by the inaugural IPL champions for Rs 5 crore after an aggressive bidding war with Delhi Captials. Playing his fourth season for the Royals, the 20-year-old Parag said he is eagerly looking forward to work with Ashwin.
“That will definitely be Ashwin… If not the best ever, he’s like one of the best off-spinners going around in the world,” said Parag, a spin bowling all-rounder said in a release issued by his franchise. “I’ll definitely try to carry a red ball with me in the tournament so that I can get a few tips.
“But even with the white ball, I think if I can pick his brains on the varieties and all the mysteries. I think my white-ball bowling is going to be much better after the season,” he added. The all-rounder from Guwahati already has 30 IPL matches under his belt, and is ready to make the most of his fourth season in the league.
“I started my IPL journey at the Royals, and I’m delighted that I was bought back. I know there were four teams involved in the bidding and it was nice to see that because that means I’ve been doing something right,” said Parag, who was bought back By RR for Rs 3.80 crore.
The youngster, who has recently appeared in his graduation exams, said he always wanted to return to the Royals squad. “Why this team means so much to me is because of the very family vibe, where everyone takes care of you, everyone is very friendly and approachable,” he said while quarantining ahead of the season.
In the recent Ranji Trophy, the Assam cricketer scored 293 from six innings at an average of 48.83 with his highest being 91 (vs Uttar Pradesh). He also took seven wickets at an average of 24.42. But Parag conceded that it was an “average” domestic season going by the standard he has set for himself.
“I missed a few 100s, I think I was in good nick and was batting well. In terms of bowling too, I got my first five-for.
“So yes, there is still huge scope for improvement. The focus now is on prepping up for the IPL as I’ve played less white ball cricket in the last month or so, but a few sessions of good practice should help in preparing,” he said.
The youngster hopes to finish more matches for his franchise in the upcoming IPL. “I think a lot of people will tell you this, the role that I play is the toughest one in T20 cricket, batting at 6 or 7, finishing off games.
“I know I haven’t produced as many performances as I would have liked, but I think now I understand myself much better as a player and understand what my strengths are. So, I hope it’s going to be my year,” Parag signed off.
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