Young Rajasthan Royals batsman Riyan Parag said it was like living a dream to share the RR dressing room with the legends like Steve Smith and Ben Stokes in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
He also lauded one of the modern-day batting legends Smith’s captaincy, saying the RR skipper is a great leader who always backs young talents and he enjoys playing under former Australian skipper.
The Assam lad came into the IPL scene last year when he was bought by the RR at his base price of Rs 20 lakh in 2019 IPL auction following an impressive U-19 show.
The 18-year-old Parag became the youngest half-centurion in the IPL history last year following his fifty against Delhi Capitals at the tender age of 17 years and 175 days.
In the IPL 2019, the right-hander also grabbed the attention with his impressive 69-run partnership with captain Smith to help the RR to defeat Mumbai Indians in a crucial match.
Parag told IANS: “It feels like a dream come true to share the dressing room with legends like Steve Smith and Ben Stokes. As I have even mentioned in the (RR) documentary, when I came out to bat versus CSK, Stokesy (Ben Stokes) told me to play without pressure as if it was a gully cricket match.”
He further added, “I admire how Smudge (Smith) backed all the bowlers, especially young players like me. He is a great leader and I enjoyed playing under him.”
Riyan also feels lucky to be with RR in the cash-rich league, as the young gun is gearing up for a more consistent show in the 13th edition of the IPL 2020, which will be held in the UAE later this year.
He said, “I had a very good season last year and feel lucky to be with the Rajasthan Royals. I don't like to take pressure from the outside. It is more about preparing for the situation that is ahead of you.”
Parag signed off by saying, “I like to be in the zone when I am in the middle and I don't pay much attention to what people are talking about me or my performance. It obviously feels good to hear nice things about you but I do not let success get into my head.”
(With IANS Inputs)