All-rounder Shivam Dube is looking at the upcoming 14th edition of the Indian Premier League as a pathway to make a comeback to the national side. However, it won’t be possible until Hardik Pandya is in the line-up, fit and available, and Shivam Dube understands that.
In Hardik’s absence, Shivam Dube was given his India debut in late 2019. He played 1 ODI and 13 T20I matches. Apart from a solitary T20I fifty, he didn’t really have any significant performance to show and was dropped after conceding 34 runs in a single over against New Zealand.
Ahead of IPL 2021, the pace bowling all-rounder says that his main focus at the moment is to fare decently for the Rajasthan Royals, who bought him for Rs. 4.4 crore.
“Performing in every match and coming back into the Indian side would be great, but I am not thinking about it right now. The focus is on performing well in the IPL. Becoming better is more important than thinking about being in the international side,” Shivam Dube told the Times of India.
“Yes, as an all-rounder people have looked at me as a replacement of Hardik. As he is back in the side, there is no place in the Indian team right now. But I will reiterate that my focus is on getting better. My competition is with Shivam only. I am not thinking about Hardik or my future,” he added.
Sangakkara has told me that we want you to make our middle-order strong: Shivam Dube
The 27-year-old was released by Royal Challengers Bangalore after a disappointing season last year – an average of 18.43 and 4 wickets in 11 matches – but is being trusted by the Royals this year. The left-handed batsman reveals that Kumar Sangakkara, RR’s Director of Cricket, has told him that he will play a crucial role in the middle-order. Shivam Dube is in good company with world-class all-rounders such as Ben Stokes and Chris Morris in the Royals’ dressing room.
“The Royals are very positive about me. Here I am going to get more chances. The management is trusting my skill in this format and I have spoken to Kumar Sangakkara and he has told me that we want you to make our middle-order strong, As a batsman, I am on a better side and this team needs me more in this role. So I consider myself fortunate to fill in for that role as well.
“Getting some tips from Stokes would be great. I have shared the dressing room with Morris in 2020 during my stint with RCB, so he is a good friend already. Being around them will give me growing time,” the Mumbai all-rounder stated.