Not long ago, Shivam Dube was brutally trolled on Twitter for his inability to accelerate through the gears. Coming in at No. 4, Dube took 35 balls for his 31 after the top-three batters got Rajasthan Royals off to a rollicking start against Mumbai Indians. Rajasthan lost that game, and Dube’s approach became a subject of ridicule and criticism.
Despite his long reach and brawny physique, Shivam Dube always struggled to play big shots in the Indian Premier League. While spinners and medium-fast bowlers were not such a big deal, he was highly susceptible against high pace, and the opponents exploited this weakness.
The above incident dates back to 2021. A lot has changed for Shivam Dube since then. He was acquired by Chennai Super Kings in the mega auction for IPL 2022, and with Deepak Chahar sustaining an injury, he paved his way into the playing XI.
And Shivam Dube hasn’t disappointed. Twice this season, Chennai crossed the 200-run mark, and Dube notched the fifties on both occasions. Last night against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Dube slammed an unbeaten 95 off 46 deliveries to take Chennai Super Kings to a daunting total.
Dube credits the security provided by his new franchise as one of the major reasons for his resurgence.
“(The team management) has given security and at the same time, I back my game. I feel the ball which I can hit, I do that and I am able to connect well, so my confidence is high. I’m trying to play my own game,” said Dube, who powered CSK to their first win in the IPL 2022.
Dube’s long-lever helps him generate immense power, even if he fails to middle the ball. It also helps in changing the length of the ball with minimal foot movement, as he showed us against Wanindu Hasaranga and Shahbaz Ahmed. Whenever there was any hint of flight, Dube got down to his knees and swiped it away to anywhere between long-on to deep mid-wicket.
“What I have been trying to do for a long time, I am able to execute that. It’s the same as what I was doing at the domestic level, in Ranji Trophy. But when you play at this level you have to raise your game to a higher level,” he said.
“My idea is to not think too much, back myself, keep my balance and just back my basic game, not do anything extra. Just that I am playing well and my confidence is high”.
There’s little margin of error if a bowler is attempting a yorker against the revitalized version of Dube. In the 18th over Akash Deep missed the yorker twice, and was punished with disdain by Shivam.
However, the highlight of his innings was when Dube launched a 102m six off Josh Hazlewood in the final over of the innings. It was the first ball of the over and Hazlewood delivered a yorker. He didn’t even miss his line. But Shivam deftly cleared his front leg, and played it straight-batted for a six.
He, however, still needs to put in some work when it comes to bowling, and this could open the door to a national comeback for the player.