Riyan Parag made no bones about the fact that Jos Buttler’s departure has left a gaping hole in the Rajasthan Royals batting line-up on the eve of the side’s match against the Punjab Kings. Especially now, when the side needs a win to strengthen its place in the top-two.

However, in the same breath, he said at RR, one is never left with a dearth of capable backup options.

“We are a good side. We’ve got backups for everyone. TKC (Tom Kohler-Cadmore) is our backup now and we’ve been practising with him as well.

“It was a big loss but I think we will deal with it. It was something that we knew before the season started and we will be handling it well since we are a professional side,” Parag said addressing the media at the Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati on Tuesday.

That the side, with 16 points from 12 games, has now lost three matches on the spin hasn’t helped. But Parag said the conversations in the dressing room have been jovial and the atmosphere is positive.

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“They (the chats) have been very positive. We have tried to learn from every small mistake that we have made in the last three games. We are also focusing on what we have done well. It’s not that we’ve done everything wrong to lose the last three games,” Parag said.

RR made the Playoffs late on Tuesday after Lucknow Super Giants lost to Delhi Capitals.

The 22-year-old stressed on how the Impact Player rule has somewhat affected the usefulness of an all-rounder. In 12 matches, he has bowled only three overs.

“Due to the Impact Player rule, six bowlers can play now. You become the seventh option and that comes to play only when the main bowlers get hit for runs.

“I have mixed feelings about it. I did feel I was not getting enough chances but Sanju (Samson)  bhai has asked me to be ready so that I can be called upon anytime. Which is why I practise bowling in the nets before the games as well.”

Very few know the conditions as well as Parag in this part of the country. Currently sixth on the Orange Cap leaderboard with 483 runs from 11 innings, Parag, the local lad, is expected to get the loudest cheers when he walks onto the field on Wednesday.

“The weather isn’t going to play much of a part. Dew’s going to set in very early by the PowerPlay of the first innings. Wicket is going to be a lot better than Chennai. We are expecting a high-scoring game. But as the wicket goes and as cricket goes, we wouldn’t know much until the first ball is bowled,” he signed off.


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