rr head coach kumar sangakkara riyan parag

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Kumar Sangakkara, the Rajasthan Royals head coach, believes that Riyan Parag has the examples of Yashasvi Jaiswal and Dhruv Jurel to follow, in regards to playing for the national team in the near future. He spoke at length about Riyan Parag in an interview, sharing his thoughts behind team management’s decision to give him an extended run at No. 4.

After signing with Rajasthan Royals in 2019, Riyan Parag had a brilliant start to his IPL career, scoring 160 runs in seven matches at an average and a strike rate of 32 and 126.98, respectively, in the lower middle order. In the next four IPL seasons, he struggled to find consistency in his batting, but RR team management kept showing faith in him regardless.

For the IPL 2024, Rajasthan Royals retained Riyan Parag on the back of his stellar Deodhar Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy performances for Assam. He also got called up to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, becoming part of the targeted pool of players for Team India.

Following this, RR gave the No. 4 slot in the batting order to Riyan Parag for the IPL 2024 season, and he repaid them instantly with 43 off 29, stitching together a match-defining 93-run stand for the third wicket with Sanju Samson.

While talking to ESPNcricinfo, Kumar Sangakkara spoke about RR team management’s decision to promote Riyan Parag to the No. 4 slot. He said, “We looked at how he has performed over the years. It's a very difficult thing for someone like Riyan, who has an overall game, just to always only get the toughest parts of the game where he has to come in and up the run rate at the death.”

“We all felt that he has a much more important role that he can play for us. And the hard work that he did leading up to the season, all the runs he scored at domestic cricket, all played a part in that decision,” Rajasthan Royals head coach added.

Kumar Sangakkara also detailed Yashasvi Jaiswal and Dhruv Jurel’s ascension to the Indian cricket team, and how it can inspire Riyan Parag to do the same. He remarked, “He's still a very, very young cricketer. We shouldn't forget that. He's also been hugely in the focus over the years as one of the faces of the franchise, of the younger brigade. He's also seen the huge jumps that [Yashasvi] Jaiswal and [Dhruv] Jurel have made, and he's got a hunger there now and an example to follow into the national team.”