The young all-rounder from Assam, Riyan Parag has been in reckoning ever since he impressed in the last edition of the Indian Premier League. He has earned praise from all quarters but the biggest came from veteran cricketer Robin Uthappa, who tipped him to be India’s answer to next MS Dhoni.
Parag, who represented India in the 2018 U-19 World Cup, finished as the highest run-scorer for Assam in the 2018–19 Vijay Hazare Trophy, with 248 runs in seven matches. On the back of some of stellar shows, Rajasthan Royals roped the youngster and he immediately paid dividends.
The 18-year-old cricketer was probably the find of 2019 IPL. Riyan Parag played a calm and composed knock of 43 runs from 29 deliveries against Mumbai Indians to pave his side home. It earned him the praise of skipper Steve Smith, who predicted that the youngster has a bright future.
Riyan Parag can be the next MS Dhoni – Robin Uthappa
Parag backed Smith’s statement with the scores of 47 and 50 against Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Capitals respectively. In the process, he became the youngest to register a fifty in IPL (17 years and 175 days) overtaking Prithvi Shaw and Sanju Samson. He finished the season with 160 runs from seven games at a strike rate of 126.98.
Meanwhile, what struck the most was his calculative approach while chasing. Robin Uthappa in a recent conversation with Cricfit editor Mikkhail Vaswani tipped Riyan Parag to be India’s answer to next MS Dhoni.
The cricketer from Karnataka believes he has a bright future with the Indian team. Robin Uthappa feels Riyan Parag has got the perfect nurturing, coming from a cricketing background where his father PK Das also played for Assam.
“Currently, the young player which excites me out of my socks is Riyan Parag,” Robin Uthappa said to Cricfit. “I am extremely excited and he is the one to watch out for. I think he is someone who is looked after well and dealt well and nurtured well and will represent India for a very long time.
He could be India’s answer to the next MS Dhoni,” the veteran cricketer added.
So far, Riyan Parag has played 13 first-class and 24 List A matches scoring 659 and 541 runs respectively at a healthy average. Only time will tell whether Robin Uthappa’s prediction will come true, but nonetheless, Parag has done everything right to earn the praise.