Rohit said ‘just show us what you can do’, recalls Shivam Dube post T20 WC selection

New Delhi:  Big-hitting left-handed batter Shivam Dube revealed about his conversation with skipper Rohit Sharma, where he asked him to show what he can do in the series against Afghanistan in early January, which gave him an inkling about making it to India’s squad for the upcoming Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, where he eventually landed a spot in 15-member squad.

Dube made his T20I debut for India in 2019, but fell out of favour. But making 418 runs in IPL 2023 for the Chennai Super Kings, where he hit 22 sixes and had a strike-rate of 176.47 against spinners paved his way back to the Indian team for the Ireland tour last year.

Earlier this year, Dube was named Player of the Series for his 124 runs in the three-match series against Afghanistan at home, where he played knocks of 60 not out and 63 not out, apart from taking two wickets from bowling seven overs of medium pace.

“When I got picked for the Afghanistan series, Rohit bhai told me I will (get a chance to) bowl and bat too. He said, ‘just show us what you can do.’ If the captain comes up and tells you we want to see you do this, you just express yourself. I felt ‘I’m now playing’, so my only thought was how can I perform and make the team win.”

Dube has continued his remarkable form in the middle-order for CSK in IPL 2024, excelling against both spin and pace, while smashing 350 runs at an average of 58.33 in the tournament as of May 1. He credited the mindset instilled into him by MS Dhoni and CSK head coach Stephen Fleming that brought about a change in his T20 game.

“When I came into the CSK setup, Mahi bhai and Fleming told me that you have to hit. But they’ve never said it has to be from the first ball. Even they know doing that can be risky. It was at the back of my mind that if they have the faith in me, why should I take undue risks in my first 10 balls?”

“That plan was, yes, I’m hitting (big) now, but how can I do it right through? Mentally, I prepared myself to see what my approach should be if a bowler bowls a particular ball. It took some time for me to apply this, but I’m set now.”

“I watch the ball really well, and as it hits the bat, I get the feel that it’s gone, it’s done, it’ll go for six and go long. Special thanks to CSK. They brought me up their way and it has worked for me.”

Dube’s six-hitting abilities and clean bat-swing has brought up comparisons with the legendary Yuvraj Singh. “It feels nice when people compare my batting to his (Yuvraj). If I can also perform like him, it’ll be nice. When I came into the national team, Ravi bhai (Shastri, who was the head coach then) told me ‘you hit sixes like Yuvraj Singh’.”

“From Yuvraj, I learnt that even if he wouldn’t hit off the first seven-eight balls, he covered it up towards the end. It’s something I’ve prepped myself up for mentally. If people think I can (hit like Yuvraj), maybe I actually can do it. It’s important to apply the right things at the right time,” he concluded.

Related Articles