Irfan Pathan’s tweet divides fans on Riyan Parag, causes war of words | Cricket

    Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan remains active on social media and often conveys his thoughts on cricketing matters through his tweets.

    Irfan Pathan and Riyan Parag

    After RR’s crucial win last night, Pathan implored fans not to hate young players just because they back themselves. Pathan did not name any cricketers in his tweet but fans guessed that it was most likely in support of RR all-rounder Riyan Parag, who has been mercilessly trolled and criticised on social media throughout the season.

    “Don’t give unnecessary hate to a young player just cos he is confident in his ability,” Irfan Pathan wrote on Twitter.

    Irfan Pathan’s tweet got the fans divided and sparked off a war of words

    Ahead of the must-win clash against Punjab Kings (PBKS), Rajasthan Royals (RR) surprised fans all over with a rather peculiar change in the setup as Riyan Parag returned to the side. The Men in Pink locked horns with Shikhar Dhawan’s PBKS at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in Dharamsala on Friday and needed to pick up two points to keep their playoff hopes alive.

    Parag’s return to the side was a bit of a surprise as he endured a rather forgetful season. He failed to contribute with the bat at all.

    The 21-year-old batter has made seven appearances in the top-tier league this season and has only managed to get a meagre 78 runs at a poor average of 16.

    With a playoff spot at stake, the Royals’ think tank decided to back out-of-form Riyan Parag to feature in the XI against the Kings and he justified their trust with a small but important knock of 20 runs from 12 deliveries as he helped RR chase down a target of 187 runs and keep their faint playoff hopes alive.

    Parag has always been regarded as a top talent ever since he broke into the RR set-up in 2019 and was tipped as a future India star by many former players. But he has never quite fulfilled that potential and has hence been the subject of social-media trolling and criticism from fans all over the country.

    The current IPL is his fourth full season since his debut but he has never scored 200 runs in a single edition yet. In fact, after scoring 160 runs in seven innings in his debut season in 2019, he has only managed to better that run tally once, in the 2022 season.

    He enjoyed a stellar run in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2022-23, accumulating 552 runs at an average of 69 and a strike-rate of 123 with three hundreds and a fifty, while also bagging 10 wickets in Assam’s run to the semi-final.

    But he has once again failed to showcase his talent on the biggest stage. He was in and out of the RR side owing to his poor form and has not managed to score even 100 runs this season.

    It remains to be seen if RR retain Parag for the 2024 season after another dismal outing this year. While Parag is a supremely talented cricketer his performances in the IPL in the last couple of years have done him no favours.

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