Shivam Dube's dramatic transformation at CSK: How India star could be the side's X-factor at T20 World Cup | Crickit

Shivam Dube's dramatic transformation at CSK: How India star could be the side's X-factor at T20 World Cup

By, New Delhi
May 02, 2024 06:34 AM IST

CSK's Shivam Dube could just emerge as the X-factor for India in the mega event in America and the Caribbean.

He has been the linchpin of the CSK middle-order in the last two seasons. He is the biggest six-hitter in the IPL since 2023. He is amongst the best players of spin in the country. The rise of Shivam Dube and his dramatic transformation has been one of ‘the’ success stories of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the last few seasons. Having earned a place in the 15-man squad for the World Cup, Dube could just emerge as the X-factor for India in the mega event in America and the Caribbean.

Chennai Super Kings batter Shivam Dube plays a shot (PTI)
Chennai Super Kings batter Shivam Dube plays a shot (PTI)

The early struggle

At 25, Dube was a late entrant in the IPL and struggled in his first three seasons. He could muster 169 runs in 13 innings at an average of 16.9 and strike rate of 122.5 for the Challengers in 2019 and 2020. A move to the Royals in 2021 did not have a dramatic change in his fortunes – though he increased his aggregate to 230 in the season, Dube’s scoring rate of 119.2 left a lot to be desired.

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Overall, between 2019 and 2021, Dube had an aggregate of just 399 runs in 22 innings at an average of 22.17 and strike rate of 120.5. He had just one innings of note – and that was an unbeaten 64 off 42 deliveries against the Chennai Super Kings in Abu Dhabi.

2022 - The transformation

Backed by MS Dhoni, Dube witnessed a dramatic upswing in his fortunes when he moved to the Chennai Super Kings in 2022. He delivered in his second match of the season smashing 49 off 30 deliveries from number 4 against the Super Giants. That followed a 30-ball 57 against the Punjab Kings before he produced the innings that firmly announced the arrival of Shivam Dube on the big stage - an undefeated 95 off just 46 deliveries in the mother of all battles against the Challengers – the hallmark of his innings being the 8 sixes! Dube scored 289 runs in the season at a strike rate of 156.2. But this was just the appetizer.

Watch: The Stunning Transformation Of Shivam Dube

2023 – Big impact in historic triumph for CSK

A confident Dube produced five high impact performances in 2023 playing a pivotal role with the bat in the middle-order in CSK’s historic fifth title triumph. His highest impact knock came against the Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens when he blasted a 21-ball 50 – again, the five sixes being the highlight of his eye-catching performance! Dube held his nerve in the final against the Titans remaining unbeaten on 32 as Ravindra Jadeja smashed a six and a four off the last two deliveries to seal a stunning win for the Super Kings.

Dube ended the season with an aggregate of 418 runs in 14 innings at a strike rate of 158.3. Only Faf du Plessis (36) hit more sixes than Dube’s 35 in the tournament. From every 11.6 deliveries in 2022, Dube further improved his frequency of clearing the ropes and smacked one six every 7.5 deliveries in 2023.

2024 – Raising his game a few notches

If 2022 was the appetizer and 2023 the main course then 2024 has definitely been the dessert for Dube in the IPL! The left-hander has taken his game a few notches higher and already produced five high impact performances for CSK in the season – where he has scored more than 35 at a strike rate of in excess of 170! Dube has already piled on a total of 350 runs at an average of 58.3 and strike rate of 172.4 in the tournament. No middle-order batter (number 4 and 5) has scored more runs than Dube this season. He has the fourth-highest strike rate for all batters who have scored a minimum of 100 runs from number 4 and 5 in the competition.

Dube has continued to plunder the sixes and is third on the count with 26 maximums only after Heinrich Klaasen (28) and Abhishek Sharma (27). His balls per boundary ratio of 4.1 is not only amongst the best in the tournament but by far his personal best for any season. His best knock came against the Titans when he blasted 51 off just 23 deliveries including five towering sixes powering CSK to a match-winning target of above 200.

The biggest improvement in his game in 2024 has come in his play against the fast bowlers. Dube’s strike rate against pace has improved from 143 in 2023 to 172 this season. Meanwhile, he has continued his domination of spin and hammered the slower bowlers for 66 runs off just 38 deliveries at a strike rate of 174. Dube has just been dismissed once by a spinner in the tournament.

Dube’s IPL average has shot up from 22.2 in the first three seasons to 39.15 thereafter. Dube’s scoring rate has risen exponentially from 120.5 to 162.1. His transformation from an under-average batter to one of the most destructive hitters of the ball in the middle-order is nothing short of extraordinary.

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