'At Some Point, You Will Have To Pick Me': Riyan Parag Confident Of Playing For Team India After IPL 2024 Heroics

'At Some Point, You Will Have To Pick Me': Riyan Parag Confident Of Playing For Team India After IPL 2024 Heroics

No youngster has polarised opinions in a short span of time as the 22-year-old from Assam, who enjoyed a breakout IPL season with 573 runs at a strike-rate close to 150, coming in at No.4 for the Rajasthan Royals.

PTIUpdated: Wednesday, May 29, 2024, 09:08 PM IST
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To the world, it might be perceived as extreme arrogance but when Riyan Parag looks into your eyes and tells you that "I am going to play for India no matter what", it is extreme self belief in one's own skill-set and abilities.

"At some point, you'll have to take me, right? So that is my belief, I'm going to play for India. I don't really care when," Parag would sound bullish yet confident during his exclusive interaction with PTI on Wednesday.

Riyan finally realises his potential

No youngster has polarised opinions in a short span of time as the 22-year-old from Assam, who enjoyed a breakout IPL season with 573 runs at a strike-rate close to 150, coming in at No.4 for the Rajasthan Royals.

In five previous years of IPL, Riyan, a 2018 U-19 World Cup winner didn't even enjoy a 200-run season and a vicious social media was more than unkind to a youngster who was making a transition from boyhood to manhood.

Bouncing back in style

"When I was not scoring runs — I said this in an (earlier) interview as well that I am going to play for India," Parag said on the sidelines of a Red Bull Campus Cricket tournament here on Wednesday, a tournament he lauded for giving exposure to talented youngsters.

"That is me believing in myself. That is not me being arrogant. That is what my plan was with my dad (former Railways and Assam player Parag Das), when I started playing cricket when I was like 10-years-old. We (a joint project) were going to play for India regardless of anything."

Riyan ready to wait for India debut

There is a strong possibility that Riyan along with Abhishek Sharma and Harshit Rana will be picked for the tour of Zimbabwe.

"Whether it's the next tour, whether it's a tour in six months, whether it's a tour in one year... I don't really put my thought behind when I should play. That is the selector's job, that is other people's job," Riyan said.

Dealing with social media and criticism

Having understood the flipside of social media the hard way, he has stopped taking things to heart.

"You've got to be very quick and very sharp when reacting to things. Social media and all of that play a big part with mental pressure. Because once you start listening to those things... it always starts in a merry way, right?,” he asked.

"Once you start performing, people really hype you up. Once you start reading that, you get that satisfaction of listening to other people or watching other things."

Sense of belonging at 'elite level'

This year's IPL for him was a testament that he belongs to the elite level.

"But what I've figured out in the last year or two is that I've got to have an undeniable stack of proof that I belong at this level. Which means (that) me practising a lot, me practising at that level, practicing those situations,” Parag said.

What has been his biggest takeaway from the season.

"The biggest thing that I've taken away from the last season is that believing in yourself actually works out, because a lot of people say a lot of different things, whether it's negative, whether it's positive. But at the end of the day, what matters is what you think about yourself and that is what I've been for," he said.

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