When Hardik Pandya was ruled out of action following a surgery on his back, many thought that India would once again recall Vijay Shankar. The Tamil Nadu star had made his ODI debut earlier this year and had impressed in tough conditions of New Zealand. He was also picked in the World Cup squad ahead of Ambati Rayudu before an injury cut short his stay in the UK.
And since then, Shankar has not earned another recall from the national selectors. During this period, Shivam Dube made his mark with India A and Mumbai and has now been rewarded with his maiden international call-up for the upcoming series against Bangladesh. The selection panel headed by MSK Prasad announced the T20I and Test squad for the series.
After announcing the squad, MSK Prasad explained the rationale behind selecting Shivam Dube ahead of Shankar. The former India wicketkeeper said Shivam Dube is a better fit than Shankar. He also pointed out the Mumbai allrounder’s recent impressive performances for India A.
“In our earlier T20 squad, we had Hardik [who’s now recovering from back surgery]. We also tried Vijay Shankar. We all felt that the role Shivam has to deliver in, he fits it much better. He bats aggressively, his performances in the India A series in the West Indies and also against South Africa in the one-dayers was phenomenal. Dube has come up by leaps and bounds and we are convinced,” said Prasad.
Shivam Dube first came into the limelight in 2018 after hitting five successive sixes in a Ranji Trophy match against Baroda. Royal Challengers Bangalore then splashed a whopping Rs 5 crore at the IPL Auction 2019 to secure his services. In 2018, the 26-year-old batsman slammed 364 runs in five innings in Ranji Trophy at an astonishing average of 91. He had also picked up 12 wickets at an average of just over 16.
More recently, Shivam Dube helped Mumbai to a quarter-final finish in the 2019-20 Vijay Hazare Trophy. He scored 177 runs in five innings, remaining not out thrice. He averaged 88.50 at a strike rate of 146.28. The highlight of the tournament for him was the 118-run knock against Karnataka which included seven fours and ten sixes.