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Sunday, Dec 08, 2019

Chance for Dube to make a point

The limited overs series against West Indies presents an opportunity for the all-rounder to build on his effective bowling spell in the Nagpur T20 against Bangladesh.

cricket Updated: Dec 05, 2019 09:00 IST
Rasesh Mandani
Rasesh Mandani
Thiruvananthapuram
Indian players Shivam Dube, right, with Rohit Sharma celebrate the wicket of Bangladesh's Mushfiqur Rahim during their third Twenty20 international cricket match against India in Nagpur.
Indian players Shivam Dube, right, with Rohit Sharma celebrate the wicket of Bangladesh's Mushfiqur Rahim during their third Twenty20 international cricket match against India in Nagpur.(AP)
         

There’s often an infectious air of confidence around an athlete, in his or her early international playing days. Shivam Dube exudes that. The 26-year-old Mumbai all-rounder shows no nerves on the field, and is a natural when facing the media. “I have prepared a lot and don’t worry, I am going to show my game and win matches for India,” he replied to a simple query on the challenges ahead.

The limited overs series against West Indies presents an opportunity for the all-rounder to build on his effective bowling spell in the Nagpur T20 against Bangladesh. Dube, picked more for his hard-hitting batting than for his bowling, rose to the occasion as the fifth bowler. Captain Rohit Sharma had thrown Dube a challenge to audition his all-round prowess and Dube passed the test with cross-seam deliveries. “I am very confident about my bowling. In a T20 game, every bowler gets a bad game and a good one. I prepare myself for different situations and I feel I can contribute also as a proper bowler. I have done that (Nagpur) and it feels really good,” he says.

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With Hardik Pandya still out injured, is this an opportunity to create his own niche? “I don’t think it’s an opportunity to replace Hardik, but yes, it’s a chance to do well for my country. I have a job (to do) for my country,” he says.

Dube won his five crore IPL contract for his six-hitting track record in club and domestic circuit; he is yet to bring that heavy hitting to the Indian team. Under Virat Kohli’s captaincy, Dube’s first IPL was a quiet one. This will be his first series under Kohli, the India captain. “The support from the captain has been good,” Dube said. “So, I have felt relaxed and happy in the dressing room.”

There are not too many contenders for that medium pace all-rounder’s slot where Dube fits in, so the West Indies series can be just the platform.

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“It’s difficult being an all-rounder. The most important (thing) is to maintain fitness. You need to bat and bowl. I have been doing that and I am proving myself. I think West Indies have a very nice T20 team but we have prepared for them. I think India is the best team in world cricket and we are going to win the series.”