Sangakkara heaps praise on RR youngsters after Punjab’s defeat
Rajasthan Royals nearly chased down the 222-run target set up by Punjab Kings but fell 4 runs short of the run-chase. The Royals won the hearts of the cricket fans for showing great aggression and composure during the chase.
After the game, Royals’ middle-order batsman Riyan Parag tweeted “I’m shit”. The batsman played a substantial role in the middle overs to assist his captain Samson who was anchoring the chase.
The 19-year-old hit 3 huge sixes and mounted pressure on the opposition. He scored 25 off 11 balls before falling prey to Mohammed Shami’s bowling after a 52-run partnership with the captain.
Needless to say, his disappointment after the defeat wasn’t highlighted by RR director of cricket Kumar Sangakkara. The former Sri Lankan captain heaped praise on the youngster by calling him a “special player”.
“Riyan is a special player as you would have seen,” said Sangakkara after the game. “He has amazing hand speed and great composure and the fast bowler Shami with his experience took a risk bowling the bumper at the time and Riyan just didn’t get enough bat on it. That’s the nature of the game. Risk and reward; I love watching Riyan play with that freedom.
“When you play with freedom sometimes wickets do fall. Sanju and him had a wonderful partnership and got us into the game with batters to come to try and finish it. I’m really encouraged by the passion and the commitment shown by the younger players.”
Chetan Sakariya had a memorable debut as he picked up 3 wickets to his name while also taking a screamer to get rid of West Indies international Nicholas Pooran.
When asked if Sakariya can be seen as a regular death-bowling weapon for the Royals, Sangakkara said: “Yeah, no doubt. I think he was just brilliant. You know his skill was on display but it was really wonderful to watch him bowl well in such a high-scoring match.
He’s always smiling, always in the game. He took an amazing catch at short fine leg. He managed to come back and bowl with the new ball. Then he bowled at the death. You know, everyone was taking some punishment, so it speaks a lot about his skill, his attitude, and it’s great to have him in the side.
“He is a simple guy, and he’s had ups and downs in life and he’s here to enjoy his cricket and our job is to support that and it’s really good to see the control that he had and the change-ups and picked the moments to bowl them. He’ll get better and things will get tougher when batsmen get used to him and analysing a bit more, but I think Chetan is a young man who I think will have a very, very good future,” he concluded.