Shivam Dube has said that he is not thinking about international cricket and is only looking to compete with himself. The all-rounder knows that Hardik Pandya’s return means there is no vacancy on the national side at the moment. Dube, however, reiterated that he is not competing with the Mumbai Indians star.
The 27-year-old made his international debut against Bangladesh in 2019. The all-rounder is seen as a like-for-like replacement for Hardik Pandya but has dropped out of contention in recent months.
"Yes, as an all-rounder, people have looked at me as a replacement of Hardik. As he is back in the side, there is no place in the Indian team right now. But I will reiterate that my focus is on getting better. My competition is with Shivam only. I am not thinking about Hardik or my future," said Dube.
Shivam Dube has played 13 T20Is and a solitary ODI for India. In T20Is, he has 105 runs to his name and has picked up five wickets.
Having not played a T20I for India since February 2020, Shivam Dube has said that his focus is only on self-improvement.
"Performing in every match and coming back into the Indian side would be great, but I am not thinking about it right now. The focus is on performing well in the IPL. Becoming better is more important than thinking about being in the international side," said Dube.
"The Royals are very positive about me": Shivam Dube
After spending two seasons with Royal Challengers Bangalore, Shivam Dube will now turn out for the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. The all-rounder was bought for Rs 4.4 crore by the franchise, the most paid by a team for a capped Indian player.
Shivam Dube played just 15 games across two seasons with RCB but is confident about being a regular for the Royals in IPL 2021.
"The Royals are very positive about me. Here I am going to get more chances. The management is trusting my skill in this format, and I have spoken to Kumar Sangakkara, and he has told me that we want you to make our middle-order strong," said Dube.
Primarily a lower-order batsman, Shivam Dube is known for his power-hitting ability. The 27-year-old is more than handy with the ball, but the player has said that he has been picked by the Royals because of his batting prowess.
"As a batsman, I am on a better side, and this team needs me more in this role. So, I consider myself fortunate to fill in for that role as well," observed Dube.
Shivam Dube will be competing with some of the best all-rounders in the world at IPL 2021.
Ben Stokes and Chris Morris are part of the side as well and are set to play most of the games. However, Shivam Dube is up for the challenge and is looking forward to learning from the two icons.
"Getting some tips from Stokes would be great. I have shared the dressing room with Morris in 2020 during my stint with RCB, so he is a good friend already. Being around them will give me growing time," concluded Dube.
Shivam Dube will look forward to a productive IPL 2021 campaign, which would bring him back into the reckoning for a return to the Indian team.