MI vs RR – IPL 2024 – Shane Bond on Riyan Parag: ‘He reminds me of Suryakumar Yadav’

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“He sort of reminds me a little bit of Surya [Suryakumar], who came to Mumbai a few years ago,” Bond, who is also RR’s bowling coach, said at the post-match press conference. “He looks like that – he has got extreme talent. He has just matured as a cricketer, even though he is only 22.”

Bond shifted to Royals’ staff this year, after a nine-year stint with Mumbai. He said Royals had set up their line-up this year to get more out of Parag. “He has had an outstanding domestic season, obviously, batting up the order. The trade we made with Devdutt [Padikkal], bringing Avesh [Khan] in, that was to put Riyan up into a position which was probably better suited.”

Bond said it was unfair to judge Parag on previous seasons, when he had to play the role of finisher at such a young age. “Riyan started so young, you forget that he was 17 or something, playing in one of the toughest spots in a batting line-up: No. 6. You look at the characters who finish games around the IPL, they are generally pretty experienced guys. The Tim Davids, the David Millers… these are high-quality players who play international cricket. Riyan had been tasked with that for a number of years. He is still a very young man, but he has got this wealth of experience behind him now.

“We are getting the best of him. The investment that RR have made of him, it’s starting to reap the rewards. It is pretty exciting what he could offer for the rest of the season for us.”

“Riyan started so young, you forget that he was 17 or something, playing in one of the toughest spots in a batting line-up: No. 6. You look at the characters who finish games around the IPL, they are generally pretty experienced guys.”

Don’t judge Parag on seasons past, says Bond

Bond also agreed that the “selfless” Yuzvendra Chahal, who produced a spell of 4-0-11-3 to set up Royals’ win on Monday, could be back in the reckoning for India if he continues to deliver. For now though, he said it was best for Chahal – or any other player – to focus on the IPL and not look to far ahead.

“The competition is pretty tough, so one of the real challenges for any bowler coming into this tournament is to forget that there is a [T20] World Cup [coming up], and you start bowling to get into the World Cup team.

“If your [IPL] team is successful, you are in a winning team, selections and rewards come from that. That has more of been our focus, to forget about all that other noise from the outside and just work really hard for each other.

“If we do that, I have got no doubt people are going to start talking, like you [the journalist asking the question] are now, about Chahal and whether he will feature in the World Cup or not. He is bowling beautifully.”

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