Riyan Parag has admitted he tried leaving balls on the off-stump channel with all stumps covered just like how his Rajasthan Royals team-mate Steve Smith did. (Photo Credit: Twitter)
Riyan Parag has enjoyed considerable success in the last couple of years. In 2018, he was part of the India side that won the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand under the leadership of Prithvi Shaw. Following the success in the tournament, Riyan Parag was picked by Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League and he has enjoyed a consistent run, averaging 32 in the previous year. In the Ranji Trophy 2020 season, Parag was one of the stand-out performers for Assam, managing 492 runs in the season with three fifties and a century against Uttarakhand. The youngster also picked up 12 wickets but Assam did not make it to the knock-outs.
Speaking to PTI from Guwahati, Riyan Parag credited one man for all the recent success. The Assam youngster credited tips from Steve Smith, considered one of the best Test batsmen in the world for the success. "When you are batting with someone of Smith's calibre and 30,000 people are watching you, it gets a bit tough. He would advise me to be calm and not think about the pressure. I love the way Steve leaves the ball. You don't just go by the looks of it but you've got to think why does he leave the ball like that. What is the reason? The bat is hanging out and body and legs are in sync, you see that not many players can leave the ball with their body. It's a diffcult art that he has mastered. Luckily, I have imbibed some of it in my Ranji season after talking to him," Parag said.
Smith has often been labelled unorthodox for the way how he approaches his batting. His art of leaving the ball outside off has often been compared to a Japanese Samurai wielding a sword. However, his unique batting style has reaped great success. In 73 Tests, he has 7227 runs at a jaw-dropping average of 62.84 with 26 hundreds and 29 fifties while in 125 ODIs, he has nine centuries with over 4000 runs. However, Parag explained the reason why Smith left balls in such a way and admitted he copied his style.
Steve Smith has 7227 runs at an average of 62.84 with 26 hundreds and 29 fifties in 73 Tests. (Image credit: Getty Images)
"It's just not the bat (shouldering arms). He covers all the stumps while leaving the ball. That was an education for me as he told me how he does it. I tried copying him and tried leaving balls on the off-stump channel with all stumps covered. Steve told me that more I cover the ball with the body and leave it, the bowler will be forced to bowl a few on the pads which is the strength of any batsman. Then he can score runs," Parag said.
Parag has said that although he enjoys playing red ball cricket, it is the Indian Premier League which prepares an individual to handle pressure. In addition, Parag is also appearing for his CBSE Board papers as he was unable to give it last season and he has only one paper remaining. He is also doing the routines given by Rajasthan Royals physio John Gloster and is awaiting for the lockdown to end.
"What IPL does is, it raises expectations as then I would be expected to do well for Assam...But I don't feel any pressure. I have already taken four papers. Hopefully, I will be able to get pass marks with what I have studied in the final paper that is left. My school has been very helpful. I couldn't appear for my boards last year but this year students helped me with notes and teachers took care of my attendance. I don't know. I guess my mom has plans in place as far as my academics go. Whatever she tells me, I will do that," Parag said.