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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Shivam Dube steals limelight with shot-making in T20I series against Afghanistan

Dube’s prowess against spin is evident, but he is not as comfortable against pace and bounce

PTI Indore Published 16.01.24, 05:25 AM
Shivam Dube, who hit an unbeaten 63 off 32 balls in the second ODI against Afghanistan in Indore on Sunday.

Shivam Dube, who hit an unbeaten 63 off 32 balls in the second ODI against Afghanistan in Indore on Sunday. PTI picture

Shivam Dube has stolen the limelight with his shot-making in the ongoing T20I series against Afghanistan. Dube calls it “god’s gift”, but also realises there’s still work to be done to emerge as a complete cricketer.

Dube’s prowess against spin is evident, but he is not as comfortable against pace and bounce. Against Afghanistan, who have a decent spin attack, Dube has hit back-to-back fifties in style.

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“It’s a pleasure to keep improving my performance as I am going along. The range I have is god’s gift and I have also worked a lot on it. I have developed many areas of my game and I am getting the runs on the board,” Dube told JioCinema.

On way to his an unbeaten 63 off 32 balls in the second T20I here on Sunday, Dube smashed four towering sixes and five fours, as India chased down a target of 173 with as many as 26 balls to spare.

The T20 World Cup is down the road, but Dube has coached himself to stay in the present. “In the past I have thought a lot about the future. But I have realised that I got to focus on the present. I have to focus on how to improve my skills, so that’s more important to me. I just try to keep myself grounded and try to focus on what I have to do.”

His to-do list includes improving his batting against short deliveries bowled at good pace. “I have worked a lot on it. When I was playing domestic cricket, I was able to dominate all the bowlers, but when it came to the IPL and Indian cricket, it was not easy as bowlers were bowling over 140km/hr.

“I worked a lot with side arms, but it is more about the mindset which I worked.”

Asked about the methods he has employed that’s resulted in a significant improvement, he said, “This credit goes to Chennai Super Kings and Mahibhai (MS Dhoni) because I always had this game in me.

“They have brought out the best in me. They have always encouraged me and said that they believe in me. (Coaches) Stephen Fleming and Mike Hussey have shown faith in me.”

He also tries to shape himself in the Dhoni-mould to excel as a finisher. “What I have seen Mahibhai do for a long time, I am working in that direction. I have to keep myself calm and just focus on one ball at a time,” the 30-year-old said.

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