With consecutive impactful performances in the ongoing T20I series against Afghanistan, Shivam Dube has emphatically declared his readiness for the upcoming T20 World Cup, scheduled to commence on June 1. Filling in for the absent Hardik Pandya, the all-rounder’s impressive batting displays earned him the Player of the Match award in the first T20I held in Mohali.
Former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, acknowledging Dube’s stellar contributions, believes that the all-rounder should secure a spot in the Indian squad for the mega tournament, regardless of Hardik Pandya’s availability. Gavaskar asserted that it would be a daunting task for the selectors to omit Dube if he continues to excel in the shortest format of the game.
Expressing his thoughts on Dube’s potential World Cup inclusion, Sunil Gavaskar stated, “We have been talking about him as, ‘Oh, listen, what if Hardik is unfit?’. I think what he is doing is making sure that even if Hardik is fit, he is on that plane in that World Cup squad.”
He further added, “If you put in performances like this, it is very hard for anyone to drop you. It is going to be a really tough decision for the selectors if they decide to drop him. He is doing all that he can, which is giving the selectors a headache.”
The seasoned cricketer-turned-commentator emphasized that the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) would significantly impact squad selections. The selectors will closely monitor players’ performances in the IPL before finalizing the T20 World Cup squad.
Discussing Dube’s evolution in the cricketing arena, Gavaskar mentioned the shift from being compared to Yuvraj Singh to establishing his unique identity. He highlighted Dube’s growing comfort at the international level and emphasized the player’s determination to showcase his distinctive skills.
“I think he now feels that he belongs at the international level. He has got the appreciation and respect of his teammates because he put in two absolutely wonderful performances. I think he is just a lot more comfortable about his own game. He knows his own game better. He is not trying to copy anyone now. He is saying, This is what I can do and what I bring to the table,” remarked the 74-year-old cricketing icon.