India might have lost the second T20I of the ongoing series against West Indies at Thiruvananthapuram, but there was one big positive for the hosts to take out of this encounter. And it was Mumbai all-rounder Shivam Dube’s performance with the bat.
He was promoted to bat at No.3 after the early dismissal of KL Rahul. And he grabbed the opportunity with both hands as he scored his maiden T20I fifty for India. Dube smashed four huge sixes and three fours during the course of his knock of 54 which came off just 30 deliveries.
At a time when Rohit Sharma was struggling to time the ball–he was dismissed for 15 off 18 deliveries–it seemed like Dube was batting on a totally different pitch. None of the West Indies bowlers were spared as he smashed them to all parts of the ground. He would have definitely liked to kick on but his innings was unfortunately cut short by Hayden Walsh, who dismissed him in the 11th over of the Indian innings. Nevertheless, it was a very good performance by him. It showed that Dube is not only a domestic beast but he is fully capable of delivering at the international level too.
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 8, 2019
This was only the fifth T20I Dube played for India and he made an impact with his performance for the second time in such a short span. His first impactful performance came with the ball when he powered India to a victory in the series decider of the previous T20I series against Bangladesh with a superb bowling spell of 4-0-30-3. So he has shown how he can contribute to the Indian side with both bat and ball and, that too, in a big way.
A lot of pundits have gone on to claim how the 26-year-old has started staking his claim on Hardik Pandya’s position in the side, who is currently recovering from a back injury. However, that analysis is wrong in many ways as Dube shouldn’t be seen as someone who could replace Pandya in the squad. Rather he should be seen as a player who can only strengthen the team by playing alongside Pandya in each and every match for India.
The presence of two of such hard-hitting batsmen in the middle-order, who could turn out to be highly effective with their pace bowling skills as well, will add a lot of depth to India’s T20I team. It is important for teams to have both batting and bowling depth in their squad in this format. And Dube’s arrival has been a big boost to India’s plans for the upcoming T20 World Cup which is going to be held in Australia next year.
Written by: Prasenjit Dey