IPL 2024 – ‘This is what I do’ – Riyan Parag relishes success at No. 4 with Royals

Riyan Parag’s promotion to No. 4 is paying dividends for Rajasthan Royals. It’s a position familiar to 22-year-old Parag, who topped the run-scoring charts – with 510 runs at an average of 85 and strike rate of 182.79 – in the latest edition of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He has carried that form into IPL 2024.
Coming into the game against Mumbai Indians on Monday on the back of a 29-ball 43 and an unbeaten 45-ball 84, Parag, with Royals in just a bit of trouble at 42 for 2 chasing 126, kept his calm and took them over the line with an unbeaten 39-ball 54. With 181 runs in three innings, he also became the joint-highest run-getter in IPL 2024 along with Virat Kohli, but ahead on the list because of a superior strike rate.

“When I play domestically, this is the exact type of situation I go in to bat,” Parag told the host broadcaster after the game. “When Jos [Buttler] bhai got out and Ash [R Ashwin] bhai got out a little after, I was like ‘this is what I do, this is what I’ve been doing for the last six months playing domestic cricket’. So it was pretty simple to calculate everything.”

Royals had restricted Mumbai Indians to 125 for 9 but were rocked early by Kwena Maphaka and Akash Madhwal. But Parag carried on unfazed and stitched a 40-run stand with Ashwin to calm down the camp.

Parag had been used primarily as a finisher by Royals in the past, and his returns had been patchy.

“I have had three to four years of not performing at all, or even performing if it’s one match a season,” Parag said. “And you really go back to your hotel room and you think… that when you know you can do something and the performances are not coming, you get back to the drawing [board]. I tried finding what was wrong, and I figured out that I was not practicing at this level enough.

“So I went back after the [last] season and practised very hard, and I think that’s showing now. I’ve practiced [against] these types of quick balls and these kinds of scenarios a lot, hence the performances.”

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