Riyan Parag, who was recently selected to the Indian cricket team for the tour of Zimbabwe, acknowledged the role played by his father and the Rajasthan Royals duo of Kumar Sangakkara and Sanju Samson in shaping his game.

Parag revealed that he always found it comfortable to discuss cricket with his dad Parag Das, his first coach and a former domestic level cricketer.

“Dad knows my game better than anyone else in this world,” Parag told ESPNcricinfo. 

“So every game, every practice session, what I've done, what am I doing wrong, what am I doing right, all of those things are all thrashed out at the dining table in a constructive way.”

The Royals’ skipper Sanju Samson has been a pillar of support in the growth of Parag as a player. Samson showed faith in Parag including him in the leadership group during matches in the Indian Premier League 2024 season.

That brought Parag closer to Samson as he was happy to get the confidence and approval of the captain. 

“I think we've gotten really close in the last six years. Sanju bhaiyya is one of the best batters currently. On the field you can learn a lot from him - the way he handles himself even when he's angry, the way he handles himself after we've lost the game, all that is really commendable,” said Parag

“That's how we get confidence from the captain, because you don't want a captain who's just shouting and showing his emotions.”

“He keeps his emotions to himself, speaks to everyone normally after we've won or lost a game. I think those are the things that make him a really great captain,” Parag continued.

Parag also felt that the clarity provided to him by the team management, especially Head Coach and Director of Cricket Kumar Sangakkara helped him have a breakout season for the Royals in IPL 2024.

“I got to know just after the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy that I'd bat at No. 4 in the IPL. I was batting there for Assam, so I had a fair idea of how to go about it, whether it's 0 for 2 or 100 for 2,” Parag mentioned.

Parag made full use of the fact that Sangakkara was very much approachable and always willing to help out youngsters.

“Communication is key. It's been really great working with him in the last three-four years. He's very open to suggestions.”

“He is very keen on how you're developing your game even beyond the IPL, for the 10 months where no one's watching you,” Parag continued.

“He's still checking on you, on what you're doing, how you're playing. It's been great working with him. He's a legend, but then he's a great human being too.”

Parag has been a path-breaker of sorts as he became the first player from his state of Assam to be named in the Indian cricket team.

“I want to play for the country. Once I do, then people know they can have a pathway, a road map from one of their very own who got there,” Parag concluded.