Riyan Parag hits out at his critics

Riyan Parag hits out at his critics

Budding talent Riyan Parag was awarded his maiden India call-up for the 5-match T20i series against Zimbabwe. Parag feels he didn’t deserve criticism he received during a difficult stretch in his career. Parag burst onto the scene after starring for the victorious India U19 team at the World Cup 2018 in New Zealand, which led to Rajasthan Royals signing him.

Parag’s career took an unexpected turn after his impressive debut in 2019. Over the next four seasons, he struggled to maintain his form, leading to questions about his place in the team. During this challenging period, he faced intense criticism and backlash from fans. However, Parag’s fortunes changed dramatically in the IPL 2024, where he finished among the league’s leading run-scorers. This breakout performance earned him a long-awaited opportunity to represent India.

“Last year was a challenge, but I’ve since had an important conversation with myself. This personal comeback means overcoming difficulties I didn’t deserve. While I may have lacked preparation or fallen short in certain areas, I’ve always given my full effort,” state Parag to ESPN Cricinfo.

“Despite the trolling I faced, there was little I could do about it. People will say what they want, regardless. Last year, they claimed I lacked the skill to play in the IPL, but now they demand my inclusion in the Indian national team. Such is the fickle nature of public opinion. It can shift any moment, like flipping a switch,” he added.

“Maturity often comes at the cost of pain. Millions of fans watch the IPL, and when I don’t perform well, I feel terrible. The opinions and criticism from fans and even respected players add to this burden. I had to figure out what truly mattered and why I was receiving so much negative energy, except from those in the Royals setup. I tried to understand my game better, and once I started doing that, I rediscovered my love and passion for cricket,” he further continued.

Parag was the third-highest run-scorer in IPL 2024. He stacked 573 runs from 16 matches and maintained an impressive average of 52.09 and a blistering strike-rate of 149.21. He smashed 4 half-centuries and a top score of 84 not out.

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