IPL 2024, RR Vs DC: Rajasthan Royal's Riyan Parag Emotional After Playing Sensational Knock Against Delhi Capitals

The 22-year-old from Assam finally came off age as he slammed a blistering 84 not out off 45 balls to set up a 12-run win for Rajasthan Royals against Delhi Capitals

Riyan Parag played a superb knock against Delhi Capitals. Photo: AP

Architect of Rajasthan Royals' win over Delhi Capitals, young batter Riyan Parag on Thursday revealed that he was not well for the last three days and had to take painkillers to recover in time for their IPL 2024 match. (As It Happened | Full Coverage)

Considered a precocious talent, the 22-year-old from Assam finally came off age as he slammed a blistering 84 not out off 45 balls to set up a 12-run win for Rajasthan Royals against Delhi Capitals.

"I have worked very hard, the last 3 days I was in bed, I was on painkillers, I just got up today and I'm very happy," said Parag, who was adjudged the Player of the Match, during the post-match presentation.

Despite his talent, Parag struggled to live up to the expectations and had underwhelming numbers to show in the last few seasons but his hard work paid off as he hit his highest IPL score to lift RR to 185 for 5.

"(Emotions) They are settled, mom is here, she has seen the struggle, the last 3-4 years," he said.

"I know what my opinion is about myself. That does not change regardless of whether I get a zero or not."

He played as a finisher in the earlier editions but this time, the team management gave him an extended role at No. 4. Parag was also coming into the season after scoring loads of runs at the Deodhar trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s.

"That's a lot to do with the type of season as well, I had a great domestic season and that helps," he said.

"Someone in the top four has to play the 20 overs, the wicket was keeping low and stopping, in the first game Sanju bhayya did it."

Parag's performance also impressed his captain Sanju Samson. "Riyan Parag has been a big name in the last few years. Wherever I go, people ask me about him. There is something very special he can give to Indian cricket," Samson said.

RR had a disastrous start as they were 36 for 3 in the eighth over but Parag slowly constructed his innings before accelerating in the end to lift them to a good total.

"The way we started, the first ten overs, we were like Rovman, be ready you might have to bat! The IPL is changing and we all have to be flexible," Samson said.

RR's decision to bring in Nandre Burger as an impact player, replacing Shimron Hetmyer also reaped dividends as the South African pacer struck twice in the fourth over.

"Earlier it was about 11 players, now it is about all 15 players. Me and Sanga had a lot of chat between 15th and 17th over before deciding the Impact Player. It's all about gauging in which zone they are. You have to look at that and take your decision.

"I saw Sandy (Sandeep Sharma) was calm and Avesh (Khan) was also looking good, so I went with that," he added referring to the brilliant death bowling by the two pacers."

Talking about his strategy going into the final over, Avesh, who defended 17 runs in the final over, said: "My plan is always clear. One side was longer, so my plan was to bowl wide yorkers.

"I was giving myself five seconds and only thought about executing them. My focus is always on the execution and back my yorkers.

"Enjoying myself here because we have Sandeep, Boult, Burger, all of whom have different skills. Samson gives me freedom to execute and only steps in if he sees I am struggling.

"I try to improve myself everytime. In T20s I try to reinvent myself. I never think about selection and only practice what I want to bowl."