Shivam Dube’s phone was constantly buzzing since the news of his maiden India call-up broke on Thursday evening. The Mumbai all-rounder earned his maiden India call-up after he was included in the T20I squad for the series against Bangladesh.
The only person he could inform was his father Rajesh before catching up for a quick chat. After all, it was his father who brought cricket to him after he missed cricket in his late teens – 15 to 20 – because of personal reasons.
Dube, a lower order hard-hitter who can also double up as a seam bowler, can be seen as a like for like replacement for Hardik Pandya. The 26-year-old, who stands at six feet, is expected to be an ideal candidate for India’s lower middle-order as the southpaw has the big six-hitting ability and can bowl at speeds above 130 kph.
It was this reputation of being a big hitter that brought him to the limelight last year. In a Mumbai T20 league match, he smashed veteran leg-spinner Pravin Tambe for 5 sixes. Then a day before the IPL 2019 auctions, he smashed Baroda’s Swapnil Singh for 5 sixes once again.
Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore wasted no time in securing his services for Rs 5 crore at the auctions of IPL 2019. He, however, did not have the best of times in IPL, scoring only 40 runs in 4 matches.
Not the one to get bogged down, Dube continued to put the hard yards and made rapid strides in the domestic circuit with consistent performances with an equally good outing in the India A series.
In the Ranji Trophy 2018/19, he made all the right noises and finished as the second-highest run-getter for Mumbai amassing 632 runs while taking 23 wickets at an average of 23.21.
Shivam Dube’s numbers in the past one year have been impressive with the southpaw scoring 934 runs and picking up 35 wickets in first class cricket. In List A cricket, he scored 366 runs and picked up 11 wickets.
But it was in the Vijay Hazare Trophy that he showed his true talent when scored a whirlwind 67-ball 118 (10×6) against Karnataka a couple of weeks ago. Was it this that caught the eye of the selectors?
“I think it was my performance in the domestic season as a whole. I am happy that selectors noticed my performances in domestic cricket and picked me for Team India,” Dube told the indianexpress.com in an exclusive chat.
— Shivam Dube (@IamShivamDube) October 16, 2019
Dube’s heroics even caught the attention of Indian great Sunil Gavaskar, who wrote in his column, “One player who will be on the radar of the scouts of the franchises, as well as the national selectors, is Shivam Dubey. Not since Yuvraj Singh and Sourav Ganguly has a left-hander hit the ball so cleanly and powerfully in Indian cricket.”
“Comparing me with someone like Yuvraj Singh is big so really thankful to Mr. Gavaskar. I’ll try to work harder and perform at the international stage.”
So is it possible that we could see a repeat of his feat of 5 sixes. “When I wear the India colours, I shall try my best to continue performing the way I am doing now. I won’t curb my instincts because I have reached this stage with the same things and I want to continue playing the same way. So ya why not?,” he said.
“As an allrounder, I need to bowl some overs and am ready for that. I am also working on my speeds,” he added.
Dube also had a word of advice for those looking to make it to the big stage. “Don’t think of any shortcuts. Work hard. Domestic cricket still holds importance and you rise from there. For international selection one needs to dominate domestic cricket,” he concluded.