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IPL 2024: Riyan Parag repays faith, shines in new role at No. 4 for Rajasthan Royals

Riyan Parag hit 84 runs off 45 deliveries for Rajasthan Royals (RR) in its IPL match against Delhi Capitals (DC) in Jaipur on Thursday which helped the side overturn a slow start and end the innings at 185 for five.

The knock is a coming-of-age moment for the 22-year-old after he faced backlash last season amid a string of poor performances. Riyan struggled to cement a place in the starting eleven, and scored just 70 runs in seven innings at an average of 13. His overall IPL run haul was 600 after 51 games, raising questions if he can perform at the highest level.

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“There’s no reason for me to be angry or sad. I have learned the hard way that when you want things a lot, it never works out. So, I’m just taking it a game at a time and trying to be grateful for whatever cricket I play,” Riyan had told Sportstar during the Deodhar Trophy.

Riyan, however, turned the tide later in the year, scoring 354 runs in five innings in the Deodhar Trophy for East Zone. He followed it up with 510 runs in 10 innings for Assam in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, registering a record seven-consecutive half centuries.

For his exploits, Riyan was named the best all-rounder of the 2023 season at the BCCI Naman Awards.

This IPL, Riyan was promoted to the number four spot by the RR management. While he scored a 29-ball 43 in the side’s opener against Lucknow Super Giants, Riyan converted his start in the second game against DC.

RR managed a paltry 31 runs in the PowerPlay for the loss of two wickets before Riyan took over and pulled his side to a competitive total. Riyan ended the innings by pocketing 25 runs from Anrich Nortje’s final over. His 85 was the highest score by an RR batter at number four.

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‘I have put in a lot of practice. I had my options ready for both sides of the wicket; I was backing my strengths. I was confident that I could get a lot of runs. It wasn’t easy for a new batter to come and score, you needed someone to stay until the end. It’s been tough, I’m a bit emotional now, I have worked hard and seeing the fruits of it now,” Riyan told the official broadcaster after the innings.

While it is still early in the season, the RR management would hope Riyan continues to repay its faith in the new role and add to his runs tally.

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