IPL 2024: 'Riyan Parag can give something special to Indian cricket', says Sanju Samson

Following Rajasthan Royals’ (RR) 12-run win over Delhi Capitals (DC) in IPL 2024, skipper Sanju Samson said all-rounder Riyan Parag

Jaipur, March 29 (IANS) Following Rajasthan Royals’ (RR) 12-run win over Delhi Capitals (DC) in IPL 2024, skipper Sanju Samson said all-rounder Riyan Parag, who slammed an unbeaten match-winning 84 off 45 balls, can do something special for Indian cricket in future.

At the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Parag made just 26 runs off the first 26 balls he faced. But he flicked a switch post Ravichandran Ashwin’s cameo of 29 to make 58 runs in just his next 19 balls, including getting his fifty in 34 balls. Parag hit seven fours and six sixes, including smashing Anrich Nortje for 25 runs in the final over, to make his best-ever IPL score in a brilliant match-winning effort.

With the ball, Yuzvendra Chahal and Nandre Burger took two wickets each, while Sandeep Sharma and Avesh, who gave away only four runs in the final over, held their nerve with impeccable yorkers and wide lines in the death overs to give RR its second consecutive win of the competition.

“I saw Sandy was calm and Avesh was also looking good, so I went with that (in the death overs). Riyan Parag has been a big name in the last few years. Wherever I go, people ask me about him. There is something very special he can give to Indian cricket,” said Samson after the match ended.

Samson also revealed about the thoughts of using Rovman Powell as the Impact Player in the match, especially after they were at 58/3 at the end of first ten overs. But Ashwin’s pinch-hitting promotion and Parag coming good meant that idea never materialised.

“The way we started, the first ten overs, we were like Rovman, be ready you might have to bat! The IPL is changing and we all have to be flexible. Earlier it was about 11 players, now it is about all 15 players.

“Me and Sanga (director of cricket Kumar Sangakkara) had a lot of chat between 15th and 17th over before deciding the Impact Player. It’s all about gauging in which zone they are. You have to look at that and take your decision,” he said.

Asked about his plan to execute yorkers in death overs, Avesh said, “My plan is always clear. One side was longer, so my plan was to bowl wide yorkers. I was giving myself five seconds and only thought about executing them. My focus is always on the execution and back my yorkers.”

Avesh was traded to RR from Lucknow Super Giants ahead of the season and the pacer said he’s enjoying being in the team. “Enjoying myself here because we have Sandeep, Boult, Burger, all of whom have different skills. Samson gives me freedom to execute and only steps in if he sees I am struggling. I try to improve myself every time. In T20s I try to reinvent myself. I never think about selection and only practice what I want to bowl.”

Rishabh Pant, the Delhi Capitals skipper, faced defeat in what was his 100th IPL game for the franchise and was definitely left disappointed over not getting over the line in a chase of 186, despite having good power-play with bat and ball. “The best thing to do from here to learn from it. The bowlers did well through the 15-16 overs. But their batters did well at the death, hopefully we do better in the next game.”

“The platform that Warner-Marsh gave was very nice. We had to save wickets. We had to consolidate but at the end we had a lot to cover up. There is always one or the other option, but we wanted to finish Nortje in the death overs. Sometimes you are going to go for runs and didn’t go well for us,” said Pant.

–IANS

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