Team India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin reckons all-rounder Shivam Dube’s fortunes have changed drastically, and for good, since he has started playing for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.
Dube was the Player of the Series in the recently concluded T20I series at home against Afghanistan. He smashed impressive half-centuries in the first two games of the series and also chipped in with a couple of wickets with his medium pace.
With Hardik Pandya unavailable due to injury, Dube got a chance to showcase his skills and did not let the opportunity go waste. Praising the hard-hitting left-handed batter, Ashwin hinted at CSK’s role in his revival as a cricketer.
“Hardik Pandya is a crucial member of this Indian team. However, the emergence of Shivam Dube… Just like how we divide ears into Before Christ and After Christ, we can divide his career into ‘before CSK’ and ‘after CSK’. In West Indies conditions, which are almost CSK conditions, he is a spin-hitting monster,” the off-spinner said on his YouTube channel.
The 37-year-old also found some similarities in the batting styles of Dube and white-ball legend Yuvraj Singh:
“I can proudly call him ‘Yuvraj Singh lite’ package. There are so many factoids about Yuvraj Singh that I could see in his game – the downswing, the height and the reach.
“I am not saying that he is like Yuvraj Singh, just saying he reminds me a lot of him. The beauty here is that he hits spin straight down the ground.”
The 30-year-old Dube smashed 418 runs in 16 games at a strike rate of 158.33 for CSK in IPL 2023, paving the way for his comeback to the Indian team.
“It has just added worth in gold going into this World Cup” – Ashwin on Dube’s form
Some pundits reckon Dube could make the 2024 T20 World Cup squad even if Hardik Pandya regains fitness in time for the ICC event. Ashwin has also backed the left-hander’s inclusion for the mega tournament, as the believes his presence in the middle order could make a big difference.
“When Suryakumar Yadav is playing at one end, a team might try to suppress him by playing a left-arm spinner. When Shivam Dube is that the other end at this point, this is a great combination to have. The options that he gives to the team are tremendous. He can bowl two overs of his quota too,” Ashwin said.
“He has proved that he can bowl cutters and has developed a back-of-the-hand slower delivery as well. It has just added worth in gold going into this World Cup,” the Indian off-spinner said.
Dube has featured in 21 T20Is, scoring 276 runs at an average of 39.42 and a strike rate of 145.26. He has also picked up eight wickets at an average of 45.