‘If you can control your mind, you can control the body and you can control the outcome,’ Riyan Parag
G Plus caught up with budding cricketer of Assam, Riyan Parag, for an exclusive interview after his splendid maiden season in the Indian Premier League playing for Rajasthan Royals. Parag became the youngest player in the history of the IPL to score a 50. Here are some of the excerpts from the conversation.
After a wonderful IPL season, how does it feel to be back at home?
It feels really good. I have been out for eight weeks now and it is always good to come back home and have a good time with family and friends and just get back to the home ground were have been practicing forever now. Also it feels really good have an experience at such a high level and now it feels good be back home again.
How does it feel to be the youngest player to score 50 in the IPL?
It feels really good, I just went there for experience and to learn as much as I can and come back home. Thanks to Rajasthan Royals for giving me seven opportunities and I am glad that I could show some of my skills to help the team win a few matches. I would have been really happy if I could have contributed by playing in a few more matches and take the team through the playoffs but that is a part of the game that happens.
How different was it to play in the IPL from the U-19 world cup series?
I think you can't really compare them. IPL obviously has more experience in the field because you have world class players playing against you. Under-19 has a bit of less experience because we are all of the same age group, the Under-19 players. IPL has a bit more experience, but pressure wise both are really high on the scale because in one you are playing for the country and in the other, you are playing with and against world class players. So, I think there is pressure but it’s all about the mindset. If you can control your mind, you can control the body and you can control the outcome.
How was the experience sharing the dressing room with renowned cricketers?
All the foreign players like Steven Smith, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Ish Sodhi had really supported me. Also the Indian players like Ajinkya Rahane, Kriishnappa Gowtham - everyone had been really helpful towards me and was open for conversations anytime of the day like after or before the match, in the bus or even when we were travelling somewhere. It was a big thing for me because such star players were talking to a nobody like me and were open for conversations. It was a big thing for me.
The players were really grounded and I have learnt so much from them like handling pressure situations, good and bad situations, how they present themselves in front of people and how they perform so consistently. All things have made me an experienced player compared to what I was before the IPL.
How was the experience, when you faced world class bowlers and what was on your mind that time?
It all comes to the mindset. I was practicing well before the game and so applied that in the match. That’s what it counts even if you are practicing a lot and if you are not applying it in the match, you are not able to perform in the match. I think that ruins everything. But, you know it is practicing well and then performing well in the field that makes the difference even if you are facing good bowlers. I am really thankful to God that I got the opportunity and am also grateful to the fact that I had hard practice and that’s why I could perform well.
How did you feel when you met MS Dhoni, you know watching him as a player and playing against him during the Chennai Super Kings match?
That was a nostalgic moment for me. Watching him play on the TV when I was a kid and doing so many great things and now sharing the field with him and even on my debut match him wicket keeping while I was batting was such a surreal moment. There is so much you can learn from him. I had a chat with him afterwards and it felt really good.
So, what are your plans for the future?
I have a few tours and a few events coming up, but all of that are related to the Ranji Trophy and the domestic season. I just have three months to myself prepare as hard as I can and be really prepared for the domestic season that’s coming up.