From Doubt to Domination: Riyan Parag Earns Maiden India Call-Up After Stellar IPL Season

Youngster Riyan Parag has silenced his critics with a thunderous return to form, earning his first-ever call-up to the Indian national team for the upcoming five-match T20I series against Zimbabwe.

Parag’s journey has been a rollercoaster. After starring in India’s victorious U19 World Cup campaign in 2018, he was snapped up by the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. However, a dip in form over the next four seasons saw him face harsh criticism and questions about his future.

But Parag persevered. In IPL 2024, he exploded back onto the scene, emerging as one of the league’s leading run-scorers. His phenomenal performance, which included 573 runs at an average of 52.09 and a strike rate of nearly 150, propelled him into the national reckoning.

Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, Parag addressed the challenges he faced: “Last year was tough, but I had a crucial self-reflection. Overcoming these difficulties felt unfair because I always gave my all, even if my preparation wasn’t ideal at times.”

He acknowledged the fickle nature of public opinion: “You can’t control the trolls. They’ll have their say regardless. Last year, they said I wasn’t good enough for the IPL, and now they want me in the national team. It’s a switch that flips based on current performance.”

Parag revealed the toll the criticism took: “Millions watch the IPL, and underperforming hurts. The negativity from fans and even respected figures weighs heavy. It forced me to re-evaluate everything and rediscover my passion for the game.”

Parag’s resilience and hard work paid off. His exceptional IPL season has earned him a well-deserved chance to shine on the international stage. The Indian cricket fraternity will be eager to see if he can translate his domestic success into international glory.

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