“I don’t want a captain who shouts…” – Riyan Parag takes a jibe at Rohit Sharma while praising Sanju Samson

Riyan Parag-Sanju Samson

Rajasthan and India U-19 player Riyan Parag has been called up to the Indian squad for the first time for the upcoming T20I series against Zimbabwe. He is one of the few players who have not played for the Indian team.

Parag had his best IPL season in 2023, where he scored 573 runs in 16 games at an average of 52.09 and four fifty-plus scores. He eventually finished as the third-highest run-scorer.

The Assam cricketer, who showed glimpses of his ability in the IPL since his debut in 2019, made the 2023 season count. He was part of India’s Under-19 World Cup victory in 2018 and remains the youngest half-centurion in the IPL.

In an exclusive interview with ESPN Cricinfo, he spoke about many facets of his game and his relationship with coach Kumar Sangakkara and captain Sanju Samson. Interestingly, Samson was part of India’s T20 World Cup-winning squad but did not play a single match.

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The youngster moderated his attitude on the field and made the most of his opportunities in IPL 2024. He spoke about the support he has received from Sanju Samson, the captain. He spoke about his closeness to him and the communication he has had with him over the years.

“We’re very close. This year we got even closer because he asked me to be part of the leadership circle during the games. I looked after him, I had to talk to the players, talk about the fields and communicate with him. So I got a lot of information.” [time in] “This season I have been carrying the load, which made me feel really good because the captain had faith in me to talk to the players, change the field if needed, throw certain players in in high-pressure situations,” Parag said of Samson.

One of the best batsmen of today: Riyan Parag on Sanju Samson

He also praised Samson as one of the best batsmen of the modern generation. The RR captain has been a consistent run-scorer in the IPL. However, he has not transformed that consistency into runs at the international level. Samson also scored good runs and finished with 531 runs in the IPL 2024. This is the first time he has scored more than 500 runs in an IPL season.

“Sanju bhaiyya is one of the best batsmen today. I also think his wicket-keeping goes unnoticed. On the field, you can learn a lot from him – the way he behaves even when he is angry, the way he behaves after we lost the game, all that is really commendable. That’s how we get trust from the captain, because we don’t want a captain who just shouts and shows his emotions. He keeps his emotions to himself, talks to everyone normally after we win or lose a game. I think those are the things that make him a great captain,” Parag added.

Meanwhile, a few changes have been made in the Indian squad for the first two matches against Zimbabwe. Sai Sudharsan, Jitesh Sharma and Harshit Rana will travel to Zimbabwe for the first two matches as replacements for Sanju Samson, Shivam Dube and Yashasvi Jaiswal.

Jaiswal, Dube and Samson were part of the Indian team that won the T20 World Cup. The trio will first travel to India with the team and then go to Zimbabwe for the final three matches of the series. India’s departure from Barbados was delayed due to a hurricane.

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