Riyan Parag will make India debut in less than a year. It'll be highly disappointing if he doesn't: Irfan Pathan | Crickit
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Riyan Parag will make India debut in less than a year. It'll be highly disappointing if he doesn't: Irfan Pathan

ByAditya Maheshwari
Apr 16, 2024 06:38 AM IST

Irfan Pathan called 22-year-old Riyan Parag- a new-age Indian cricketer and also praised Rajasthan Royals for backing him.

Riyan Parag has been turning the tables and silencing his critics with his consistent show with the bat for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2024. After suffering the wrath of trolls and strong criticism by a few cricket pundits, Parag is finally making long strides to make a name for himself in the cash-rich league. It is to be said that the fans have a short memory and the RR batter is proving it as he has turned some of his critics into his fans.

Riyan Parag has shown consistency with the bat this season and also in the race of Orange Cap.(AFP)
Riyan Parag has shown consistency with the bat this season and also in the race of Orange Cap.(AFP)

The 22-year-old entered the tournament with boosted morale after an astonishing domestic season where he displayed his consistency with the bat for Assam. Parag batted at number 4 in domestic cricket and smashed 510 runs at an astonishing average of 85 and 182.79 strike rate in the last Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

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The Royals management showed big faith in him and decided to promote him to number 4 in the star-studded batting line-up and he didn't disappoint them at all.

The youngster is giving a tough fight to batting maestro Virat Kohli in the Orange Cap race as he is right behind him with 284 runs in the first six games at an average of 71, a strike rate of 155.19. He is not shying away from hitting the big shots and smashed 18 sixes thus far this season.

There were a lot of talks about Parag's attitude in the last couple of seasons but he looked all mature and motivated this year to make the noise for the right things.

Also Read | RR’s Riyan Parag makes a case for himself in World Cup season

Former India cricketers Mithali Raj and Irfan Pathan were also highly impressed with the way Parag made a sensational comeback this season and silenced his critics.

Raj, when asked about the most impressive captain this season, didn't disclose the name of the leader but heaped praise on Parag for the spirited show this season thus far.

"In terms of captain (the most impressive one), it's too early to say that because the teams have just played about five to six games. I can say who has impressed me as a player is of course the form of Riyan Parag definitely he is very impressive, only for a reason that the last few years have not been very great for him but to overcome that and be able to perform like that show the faith that the franchise has shown in him and to perform like that is quite impressive," Mithali Raj replied to Hindustan Times query on Star Sports Press Room.

Meanwhile, Patham who recently backed Parag to make India debut soon, once again talked highly of him and pointed out how he worked hard on himself and did well in domestic cricket before making big strides in IPL this season.

"100 percent, it might happen even before that (Riyan Parag making it into the Indian team within a year). I said it and it will happen, not because he has done well in this IPL, he has been scoring runs in domestic cricket and we have to value our domestic cricket. If a guy like him who scores a ton of runs in domestic cricket and doesn't get picked, it will be a highly disappointing thing because you want players like that to come up," Pathan said.

The veteran all-rounder suggested that he got some unnecessary flak in the last couple of seasons by the critics.

"He is young, he is exciting and right now he is batting at number 4. Imagine if he bats at number 5 and 6 and is able to win the games. When he was batting at five and six he was just 17-18 years old and a lot of people unnecessarily gave him flak," he added.

Pathan called the 22-year-old - a new-age Indian cricketer and also praised Rajasthan Royals for backing him.

"He is young, he is different, let him be he is a new-age Indian cricketer that's why I always supported him. Even last year I rated him highly because I see there is a talent, all great to him how he has come up this season and Rajasthan Royals have backed him as well," he added.

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