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Smriti Mandhana is an inspiration for 17-year-old Riyan Parag

Para had a memorable IPL season during which he also became the youngster player to score a fifty.

Riyan Parag
Riyan Parag. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Teenager Riyan Parag won all hearts with his maiden IPL fifty in the recently concluded season, playing for the Rajasthan Royals. With his fifty, against the Delhi Capitals in the final IPL 2019 game for RR, Parag became the youngest to score a fifty in the Indian Premier League. The promising cricketer has revealed that he derived inspirations from established cricketers such as Smriti Mandhana.

The first IPL stint was the real experience for him. Parag shared the dressing room with established cricketers not just from India but around the world. The likes of Steve Smith, Ben Stokes and Ajinkya Rahane among others. That in itself was a surreal experience for the Assam youngster.

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“I have learnt a lot from my first IPL stint. In IPL, you play with your idols and legends of the game. Just to share the dressing room was surreal,” Parag was quoted as saying by India Today.

His shot to prominence was the match against Kolkata Knight Riders. RR had almost lost hope and it needed a special effort for the team to get anywhere near a win. The 17-year-old pulled off a magnificent cameo scoring 47 off 31 balls to take his team over the line. Parag termed that game the most challenging experience in the entire IPL.

“The time I felt really nervous this season was before the match against Kolkata Knight Riders. I don’t have a great record at the Eden Gardens. Before the KKR game, I’d scored nine runs in each of the three innings I’d played there. So the knock I played(47 off 31) that day is the most special ones for me this season. I feel pressure brings out my A-game,” he added.

I’ve followed Smriti’s batting since she used to wear glasses, says Parag

Riyan Parag also revealed that besides being an ardent fan of few male cricketers, he religiously follows Women’s cricket. He is a fan of Mandhana, BCCI’s Best Women’s Cricketer of the year 2018, the RR all-rounder said that he admires her and tries to copy her style of batting as well.

“My dad is one of them (idols). He has to be the first one. Then there’s Sachin sir and Virat Kohli. And in women’s cricket, I’ve followed Smriti Mandhana since she used to wear glasses and play with a BAS bat. I was really young then. I love the way she times the ball and caresses it through point. I’ve tried copying that as well but it didn’t work out,” Parag stated.

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