HOME / SINGLE POST

Rohit simply said, ‘Just show us what you can do’ – How Shivam Dube knew he was in contention for the World Cup

Rohit simply said, ‘Just show us what you can do’ – How Shivam Dube knew he was in contention for the World Cup

Shivam Dube experienced “a lot of butterflies” and “sleepless nights” leading up to India’s squad selection for the T20 World Cup 2024, but he had a strong feeling that he was part of the team management’s plans.

Last August, after more than three years away, Dube earned a T20I recall due to his outstanding performance at IPL 2023. Dube had transformed himself into a spin-hitter and played a pivotal role in Chennai Super Kings’ victory that year. He had a striking rate of 176.47 against spinners and smashed 22 sixes, the highest by any batter in IPL 2023, accumulating a total of 418 runs in the season.

However, it wasn’t until January 2024 that he could replicate his IPL success at the international level. He scored unbeaten half-centuries in consecutive matches (60* and 63*) and was awarded the Player of the Series for his 124 runs in the three-match series against Afghanistan at home. He also bowled seven overs across three games during that series.

“When I got selected for the Afghanistan series, Rohit [Sharma, captain] bhai told me I would get a chance to bowl and bat as well,” Dube revealed in a conversation with bcci.tv ahead of India’s squad announcement. “He said, ‘just show us what you can do.’ When the captain tells you that they want to see your abilities, you just need to express yourself. I felt like I was finally playing, so my only focus was on performing well and helping the team win.”

Dube has maintained his batting form in IPL 2024 so far. He currently ranks third on the list of six-hitters with 26 sixes, trailing behind Heinrich Klaasen (28) and Abhishek Sharma (27). He attributes this batting transformation to his move from Rajasthan Royals to CSK before the 2023 season.

“When I joined the CSK setup, Mahi [MS Dhoni] bhai and [Stephen] Fleming told me to focus on hitting,” Dube explained. “But they never insisted on going for big shots right from the start. They understood the risks involved. I kept in mind that if they have faith in me, there’s no need to take unnecessary risks in the first few balls.

“My approach was to sustain my hitting ability throughout the innings. It took me some time to implement this, but now I feel comfortable with it. I have improved my ability to read the ball well and anticipate where it will go after hitting the bat. I owe a lot to CSK. They groomed me according to their style, and it has worked wonders for me.”

Dube’s powerful bat swing and clean hitting have drawn comparisons to Yuvraj Singh during his peak. Although he finds it amusing to be mentioned alongside Yuvraj, he hopes to develop the same level of consistency along with his six-hitting prowess.

“Yes, there are some similarities with Yuvraj Singh,” Dube acknowledged. “It’s flattering when people compare my batting to his. If I can perform like him, it would be wonderful. When I joined the Indian team, Ravi [Shastri, then head coach] bhai told me, ‘you hit sixes like Yuvraj Singh.’

“From observing Yuvraj bat, I’ve learned that even if he didn’t start hitting from the first few balls, he made up for it later in the innings. I’ve mentally prepared myself for that approach as well. If people believe I can bat like him, then maybe I can. Why not? It’s all about applying the right techniques at the right moments.”

Share This Post

Subscribe to Newsletter

Never miss any important news. Subscribe to our newsletter.