Shivam Dube confident of cementing his place in the Indian team with his all-round abilities
Just one day before the IPL auction on December 18, 2018, in Jaipur, Mumbai's Shivam Dube made every franchise notice his big-hitting prowess when he smoked five sixes in five balls. Dube hit Baroda's left-arm spinner, Swapnil Singh, for five huge sixes. It wasn't the first time that the Mumbaikar had achieved this feat. Dube had hit five sixes in an over in a local T20 tournament in Mumbai where he caught everyone's attention.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Dube spoke about his nonchalant six-hitting abilities and the preparation that goes into it. He said:
“I don’t have to do any special kind of preparation for hitting sixes, it comes naturally. I liked hitting the big shots and used to practice it a lot."
Due to his high backlift and clean hitting, Dube has often been compared to Yuvraj Singh. But what remains to be seen is the position at which he cements his place in the Indian side. Until now, Dube has been used as a floater and a pinch-hitter, who can be sent in to bat depending on the situation of the match. Citing the struggle to cope with the pressure of batting at different positions and understanding his role, Dube elaborated:
“I don’t mind whether I bat at No.3 or 7. I want to be someone who can bat anywhere and a bowler who can bowl in every situation. I don’t know about being a finisher with the bat. I’d be happy to play any role for the team."
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Dube plans to step-up his game as a fast-bowling all-rounder and become India's fourth-fifth bowling option, Dube stated:
“I feel I am a proper all-rounder. We are a very strong team with lot of bowling options and sometimes the conditions demand a particular thing, so all these things come into play when we talk about that 4th-5th bowling option."
“But having said that, the goal is to complete my quota of overs in every match whether it’s a T20 or ODI.”
With India performing well in the longer versions of the game, the focus will be on T20I cricket, considering the T20 World Cup in Australia in mind.
India are in line to play a lot of matches this year and Dube can expect to get more games under his belt to prove that he fits into the scheme of things for the World Cup this year. He said:
"The team management backs me. Team combination according to condition is of utmost importance. It doesn’t really matter whether I’m in the XI as long as we field the best XI. In the final two ODIs, they felt going in with a different combination, which was absolutely right. I don’t mind at all as the management is very clear about the combinations they want for a particular match.”
“I’m here to perform for India. I don’t think about any competition with Hardik. He’s one of the best around. But I don’t see him as a competitor. I just look at my game, where I need to improve, give that little bit extra to become a top all-rounder who can win matches for India.”
Dube boasts a strike-rate of over 150 in seven international games and whether he can sustain or even improve on that, only time will tell. But what matters is the confidence that has been shown by the Indian think-tank which bodes well for the 26-year-old as well as Indian cricket.