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IPL 2019: Riyan Parag got tips from skipper Steve Smith in the chase vs MI

Man of the match Smith also praised Parag after the match, predicting a bright future for him.

Riyan Parag
Riyan Parag. (Photo Source: Twitter)

In 2017, Steve Smith had a forgettable final as the captain of the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant as his side lost to Mumbai Indians by a solitary run despite dominating them in the league stages. On Saturday, the former Australia captain made a great comeback as the skipper in the Indian Premier League (IPL) by defeating the same opponents by 5 wickets while leading Rajasthan Royals (RR), his old team.

Smith, who is playing this IPL after serving a year-long ban owing to a ball-tampering scandal in early 2018, recently replaced Ajinkya Rahane as the RR skipper after the latter had a tough time at the helm. On Saturday, Smith paired up with 17-year-old Riyan Parag to put up 70 runs for the fourth wicket while chasing the MI’s score of 161 for 5 in 20 overs. While Smith remained unbeaten on 59 off 48 balls, Parag scored 43 off 29 balls and that partnership proved effective in earning the former champions a crucial win to remain in the race for the playoffs.

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Parag, who hails from Assam and also plays for the same state in first-class cricket, was appearing in just his second game in the IPL and he impressed with a knock that was punctuated with five fours and one six. Later, the teenager credited his Australian partner’s tips during their match-winning partnership at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.

Smith’s ‘gully cricket’ advice

Parag had played for India at the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand last year and looked confident while taking on in-form bowlers like Rahul Chahar and Lasith Malinga. Speaking about Smith’s guidance, he said he made it easy for him by suggesting him to think as if he is playing gully cricket.

“Steve Smith made it really easy for me. He was like just ‘think you are batting with a friend when you play gully cricket just think like that’. I just thought like that and I played my game,” Parag, who made his IPL debut against Chennai Super Kings earlier this month said.

“Some of the players I just see on the TV, just for the fact, Steve Smith, I have admired him for so long now and to share the crease with him was just exceptional,” he added.

Man of the match Smith also praised Parag after the match, predicting a bright future for him.

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