Riyan Parag reminds me of young SKY at MI: Rajasthan Royals assistant coach Shane Bond

10:28 AM Apr 02, 2024 | PTI |

Rajasthan Royals assistant coach Shane Bond has described in-form Riyan Parag as a player of ”extreme talent” and likened him to a young Suryakumar Yadav who joined Mumbai Indians several years ago and went on to become one of the most explosive T20 batters in the world.


The 22-year-old Parag has brought his rich form from domestic cricket into the IPL, striking two high quality fifties to help Rajasthan notch up wins in all three games so far.

Parag’s latest effort came against Mumbai Indians in his side’s six-wicket win on Monday. He dropped anchor to spearhead Royals’ chase of 126, scoring 54 not out off 39 balls with the help of five fours and three sixes. “He (Parag) sort of reminds me a little bit of Surya (Suryakumar Yadav), who came to Mumbai a few years ago. He looks like that – he has got extreme talent. He has just matured as a cricketer, even though he is only 22,” Bond, who is also the RR bowling coach, said at the post-match press conference.

Bond played a crucial role in developing bowling talents at MI in his nine-year stint with the Mumbai-based franchise from 2015 onwards, before shifting base to Jaipur this year.

“He (Parag) has had an outstanding domestic season, obviously, batting up the order. The trade we made with Devdutt (Padikkal), bringing Avesh (Khan) in, that was to put Riyan up into a position which was probably better suited,” the former New Zealand fast bowler added.


Suryakumar, the world’s number one T20 batter, joined MI in 2011 and spent four years at Kolkata Knight Riders from 2014-17 before he was brought back to the Mumbai side in 2018. He is recovering from a recent surgery. Bond said Parag has had to play the role of a finisher in the IPL at a young age whereas other teams have experienced international players in that role. “Riyan started so young, you forget that he was 17 or something, playing in one of the toughest spots in a batting line-up of No 6. You look at the characters who finish games around the IPL, they are generally pretty experienced guys,” he said.

“(The) Tim Davids, (the) Dave Millers… these are high quality players who play international cricket. Riyan has been tasked with that for a number of years. He is still a very young man, but he has got this wealth of experience behind him now.

“We are getting the best of him. The investment that RR have made of him, it’s starting to reap the rewards. It is pretty exciting what he could offer for the rest of the season for us.” Bond also felt ”selfless” Yuzvendra Chahal, who produced a measly spell of 4-0-11-3 to set up Rajasthan’s win on Monday, could be back in India reckoning if he continues to deliver.

“The competition is pretty tough, so one of the real challenges for any bowler coming into this tournament is to forget that there is a World Cup, and you start bowling to get into a World Cup team,” he said.

“If your team is successful, you are in a winning team, selections and rewards come from that. That has more of been our focus, to forget about all that other noise from the outside and just work really hard for each other.

“If we do that, I have got no doubt people are going to start talking like you are now about Chahal and whether he will feature in a World Cup or not. He is bowling beautifully, and if he keeps doing that, then we have got a massive chance in this tournament,” he added.

Bond said having knowledge about opposition players also helps in making strategies for his current team.

“When you have obviously spent so much time with certain players, watched them every day and talked to them about their game and the way that they see the game, that definitely helps,” he said.

“It was quite fun being on the other side of the team. A couple of dismissals, you get a lot of satisfaction from that.” MI pacer Akash Madhwal said a fresh pitch at the Wankhede Stadium assisted bowlers in the first game but maintaining tight lines was equally crucial.

“We had to get our basics right and had to bowl in the line of the stumps. The pitch had some help for the fast bowlers,” said Madhwal, who returned 3/20.


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