IPL 2023: Riyan Parag killed whatever chances Rajasthan Royals had – Ravi Shastri

JAIPUR: Rajasthan Royals needed 19 runs in the last over to win their match against Lucknow Super Giants, middle-order batter Riyan Parag’s role has come into focus once again as they slumped to 10 run defeat.

Rajasthan Royals had an 87-run opening partnership between Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jos Buttler but impressive performances by Lucknow Super Giants bowlers, led by Avesh Khan’s 3/25 and Marcus Stoinis’ 2/28 helped their team win by ten runs.

Post power-play, Jaiswal was out and from there, the collapse began as captain Sanju Samson made a desperate late dive post a mix-up, but fell a yard short of reaching the striker’s end. In the 14th over, Buttler, while trying to pull off Stoinis, holed out to deep mid-wicket.

Two overs later, Lucknow struck again when Shimron Hetmyer toe-ended a big heave to long-on. Devdutt Padikkal broke a spell of 31 balls without boundaries with a punch past Bishnoi for four in an over yielding only six runs.

He then took three boundaries off Stoinis in the 18th over, with the pull being the standout. With 29 needed off the last two balls, Riyan Parag heaved high for six, but ul-Haq gave away only ten runs in the penultimate over.

Because of the slow-over rate, Lucknow could keep only four fielders outside the 30-yard circle in the final over. Though Parag hit the first ball for four, Avesh bounced back by having Padikkal nick behind to the keeper and Dhruv Jurel holing out to long-on, thereby sealing the game in Lucknow’s favour.

However, Parag’s knock was criticised by former India coach Ravi Shastri, who said that his innings killed whatever chances Rajasthan Royals had. Parag struggled big time, scoring just four runs in the first eight balls he faced.

“They lost [Sanju] Samson, they lost [Jos] Buttler and [Yashasvi] Jaiswal but still they had enough, a lot of depth. I think that period of play when Riyan Parag came in and the way he played his first eight balls changed the course of the match,” Shastri told Star Sports after the match.

“Padikkal, at the other end, lost his rhythm as well. Runs started coming in singles and there was a period of 28 balls at that stage without a boundary. When you go through that much time without a boundary, you are asking for trouble,” Shastri said.

“They knew what they were chasing. Luckily, they are on top of the table and they will learn a lot from this defeat. They will learn about the changes in their batting unit. Parag was given the responsibility, they watched how he played. They had such a strong batting lineup. They could have gone for the kill much earlier,” Shastri said.

Parag also came under fire from internet users over his batting not only in the match against LSG but also in previous matches.

“Riyan Parag’s first 8 balls were: 0, 1, 0, 1, 0, 1, 0, 1. He came into bat when the RR was just a little over 10, played 8 balls for 4 runs and completely shifted the momentum.

“So I ask you again, Why the hell is he still in the team? Which quota is this?” wrote a fan in his tweet. Said another internet user. “Riyan Parag in his last 36 IPL innings – Runs: 401, Avg: 13.36, SR: 122.25, Ducks: 3. If “nepotism” had a face!” the fan said in a tweet.


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