One of the youngest players in the Rajasthan Royals’ (RR) squad, Guwahati’s Riyan Parag has been an integral part of the team’s set-up since making his debut in the IPL 2019 season.
The Under-19 World Cup winner could not put in extraordinary performances during the first phase of the IPL earlier this year, but is currently working hard to improve further, and deliver once action resumes in the UAE.
“I think the first half of the IPL was decent for me, but I could’ve done better in terms of winning more matches for the Royals. But I’m not going to be too harsh on myself, because I believe in my abilities, and through rigorous training, I’m pretty sure I will be able to make a difference in the UAE. The tournament also presents me with the chance to perform to the best of my abilities and make a case for the senior national team,” Riyan expressed from his home in Guwahati.
“It has been hard to practice as the monsoon season is on and we’ve been getting a fair amount of rain, but I think the exposure I’ve received during my time at the Royals’ training facility in Nagpur has really helped. I had the opportunity to work on all three facets of my game, and I’m really excited to keep building on that,” added the right-handed batsman.
Talking about the areas where he feels the need to improve and build on, Riyan said he sees preparing himself to “consistently hit sixes” as his main objective during the off-season. “I have worked on my hitting a lot, and want to ensure that I’m more consistent with my shape and form whenever I’m aiming to hit long. The other aspect of my game is to bowl in tough scenarios, and I’ve tried to make sure that I’m practicing new variations that I want to be consistent with and be able to bowl them under pressure, and also perfect the variations that I had before,” expressed the big-hitting all-rounder.
Another side to Riyan’s game is his top-class fitness levels, and the youngster wants to ensure he’s in great shape for the IPL.
“I’m always striving to be fitter than what I was. Hence, the time I spent in Nagpur really helped – we trained under the sun and it was really intense and nice. And even when I’m back home, I don’t miss a day of training. I make sure to cover everything cricket related, and regularly have some extra sessions of sprints, agility, cross-fit, strength, and weightlifting. At the end of the day, I’m prepared to put in a lot of work to ensure my fitness levels are high, which I believe will help me field, bat and bowl better as well, and can lead to me becoming an international player for India,” he expressed.
Speaking of his and his team’s ambitions for the resumption of the IPL, Riyan said: “I think we have a really good shot at making it to the playoffs. We’re placed number fifth on the table, and we’ve got seven more matches to play. Plus, we know the conditions in UAE really well from last season.”
“I believe we can improve a lot in various departments, and with a good team balance and combination on and off the field, I think we’ll have a really good shot of qualifying for the playoffs first, and then of course, winning the title,” Riyan signed off.