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'When I Play For India' - Riyan Parag Reveals His Ambitions Before Making His Int'l Debut In ZIM

Riyan Parag opens up [X.com]Riyan Parag opens up [X.com]

Team India's all-rounder Riyan Parag is set to make his debut in the five-match T20I series against Zimbabwe this July. 

Ahead of the series, the Rajasthan Royals (RR) star shared insights into his breakthrough in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and his aspirations for his international career.

As the first player from Assam to receive a call-up to the national side, Parag is determined to inspire others from his state.

"I would like to change that. I am not there [an international player] yet. I want to play for the country. Once I do, then people know they can have a pathway, a road map from one of their very own who got there. Now I have played in the IPL and there is realisation from the people that even if you are from a small state like Assam, you can get to that level. But the thing is, the IPL cannot be that big a goal. You can play for one year and fade away. But when I play for the country, when I make it to the country, I think that is when the actual road map will be set. They do not have to really follow it. They can have their own versions of it."

Discussing his breakthrough IPL season, Parag credited head coach and director of cricket Kumar Sangakkara for motivating him to push harder. 

"But over the years, I have always been very big on finding and fixing solutions myself, so I was not speaking to anyone actually. I was just trying to figure out what went wrong," he continued. "Why was I getting so much hate? Why was I getting negative energy from all the people except those from the Royals set-up? I tried to understand my game. And once I started doing that, I got this sudden love for getting into cricket a lot. I was never a big cricket geek, but today I like watching videos, analysing my game, comparing certain elements of my batting to someone that does some things better, and learning from it," he concluded.

In the 2023 IPL season, Parag amassed 573 runs at a strike rate of nearly 150, with a high score of 84*. His performance has set high expectations for his debut series with Team India. The squad has departed for Zimbabwe, and anticipation is building for the first match on July 6.