Indore, Jan 15: After Shivam Dube put up yet another stellar show of boundary hitting through an unbeaten 63 off 32 balls for India to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan, the all-rounder credited five-time IPL winners Chennai Super Kings and its captain MS Dhoni for bringing the best out of him.
Dube was bought by CSK for INR four crore ahead of IPL 2022, but it was in the 2023 season where he shined brightly in the side’s title winning campaign, making 418 runs in 16 games at a strike-rate of 158.33. He excelled in the role of a designated spin-hitter in the middle overs, seen from hitting 35 sixes, in the competition.
That performance propelled him to a return in India’s T20I scheme of things from the tour of Ireland last year. In the ongoing series against Afghanistan, Dube has hit successive fifties – 60 not out and 63 not out, as well as picked a wicket each via his seam bowling in both matches.
“It’s a pleasure to keep improving my performance as I am going along. The range I have is God’s gift and I have also worked a lot on it. I have developed many areas of my game and I am getting the runs on the board.”
“This credit goes to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) because I always had this game in me. They have brought out the best in me. They have always encouraged me and said that they believe in me. Stephen Fleming and Mike Hussey have shown faith in me,” said Dube to JioCinema after the match ended.
Talking of his mindset as a finisher and overcoming his short ball issues, Dube said, “As a middle-order batsman, my role is to take on spinners and improve the strike rate. But when it is like getting 20-25 runs, I focus on that. What I have seen Mahi bhai do for a long time, I am working in that direction. I have to keep myself calm and composed and just focus on one ball at a time.”
“I have worked a lot on it. When I was playing domestic cricket, I was able to dominate all the bowlers, but when it came to IPL and Indian cricket it was not easy as bowlers were bowling over 140km/hr. I worked a lot with side arms, but it is more about the mindset which I worked.”
With the Men’s T20 World Cup less than six months away, Dube also emphasised on thinking about doing things in present, rather than thinking of what might happen in future. In the past I have thought a lot about the future. But I have realised that I got to focus on the present. I have to focus on how to improve my skills, so that’s more important to me. I just try to keep myself grounded and try to focus on what I have to do.” (IANS)