Young all-rounder Shivam Dube has asserted that he is in the Indian side to win matches for the country, not replace senior all-rounder Hardik Pandya. Dube was fast-tracked into the senior team last year and played 14 matches given the long-term injuries to Hardik and second-in-line Vijay Shankar.
Though he earned big in the December 2018 auction, Dube had a below-par IPL with RCB in 2019. It was his exploits in the Ranji Trophy and the India A side last year earned him national — and to some extent, international — attention. That it came at a time when team India were crying out for an all-rounder with Hardik and Shankar nursing injuries, helped the big Mumbaikar waltz into the India squad.
But all the talk when the 26-year-old made his international debut in a T20I against Bangladesh in November surrounded one question: can he become the next Hardik for India? And though Hardik has returned from injury and looks set to walk back into the team, the talking point around Dube hasn’t changed.
“Whenever I am reminded that you are here to replace Hardik Pandya, I have said: “No, I am not here to replace Hardik Pandya, I am here to perform well and win matches for India”. Obviously, Hardik is a senior and a crucial player, so whenever he is fit, he is going to walk into the team,” Dube told Sportstar.
The all-rounder has had an up-and-down career so far across his 13 T20Is and a solitary ODI. He rose as high as India’s hero on debut, when he swung the match in India's favour with three crucial wickets, including that of Mushfiqur Rahman. His low point came in the last T20I against New Zealand one 34-run over at Mount Maunganui. Though Hardik is now back to full fitness, Dube is hopeful of India picking two all-rounders in the squad going forward.
“I feel playing with two all-rounders is always good for any team. It gives many options to the captain. I think there’s more percentage of winning matches with two all-rounders,” Dube added.
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi