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Is Gavaskar’s praise for Shivam Dubey a veiled attack on Hardik Pandya?

3.93K   //    05 Dec 2018, 21:44 IST

Sunil Gavaskar: England v India - 2nd Vitality International T20
Sunil Gavaskar: England v India - 2nd Vitality International T20

In his column in a Mumbai based newspaper, Sunil Gavaskar was full of praise for the pace-bowling all-rounder from Mumbai – the 25-year-old Shivam Dubey. Coming from someone of his pedigree and cricketing knowledge, his views need to be taken with utmost seriousness.

Shivam Dubey is a relatively late bloomer. Though he made his T20 debut in 2016 in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, he came into prominence after he made a brilliant debut in 2017-18 Ranji trophy season.

In a short period of time, he has made telling contributions with both bat and ball. He has already scored two hundreds and taken two five-wicket hauls in the domestic circuit. His performances did not get as much notice as they deserved thanks primarily to a below-par performance of the Mumbai team this season.

But with Gavaskar singling out Dubey for his performances and recommending him not just for IPL franchises but also for national selection, suddenly he has got the kind of notice he has long deserved.

At the moment, Indian national selectors seem to have marked out Hardik Pandya as the only pace-bowling all-rounder who is of international standard. However, Gavaskar wants the selectors to take note of the talent and performance of the Mumbaikar, ‘performance’ being the key word here.

Dubey is undoubtedly a talented cricketer with both bat and ball. And he has let his performances do the talking by scoring centuries and taking fifers. He also brings variety to any team he plays for as he bats left-handed and bowls right-handed, ala Sourav Ganguly!

However, while praising Dubey and comparing his batting with the left-handed greats such as Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh, Gavaskar had also this to say: “He has scored two Ranji hundreds and also picked a fifer which is more than some who are considered indispensable to the Indian team have done.” Could this be a veiled criticism of Hardik Pandya?

Regardless, in a country starved of quality pace-bowling all-rounders, the emergence of Shivam Dubey is a matter of joy.