Shivam Dube not here to replace Hardik but to carve own identity

Young all-rounder Shivam Dube says that he is not aiming to take Hardik Pandya’s spot in the Indian T20I side but is rather looking to make the most of all the chances that are coming his way so he can be a worthy competitor to the Baroda player.

Pandya has been recovering from a back injury and has not played since the World Cup. He recently underwent a back injury in England last month.

Pandya is undergoing rehabilitation, and his absence has allowed Dube to take his spot in the Indian team. Dube’s next international assignment is the series against West Indies.

The lanky player from Mumbai has thus far played three T20 Internationals, all against Bangladesh. He made news for his big hitting skills and even impressed with the ball in the third game, picking up 3 for 30. On asked whether he can replace Hardik in the 11, Dube said, “I don’t think it’s an opportunity to replace Hardik but I think I have got a chance and I will try to do well for my country. I have got a job for my country and I will try to do that better.”

Primarily a bowling all-rounder, Dube, who went for big bucks in the IPL auctions last year, will be looking to leave his mark in the three games against West Indies as well.

He says he enjoys Virat Kohli’s and Ravi Shastri’s backing, which is why he goes into every game with a lot of confidence.

Everyone is supporting me. The support from captain and the team management was really good for me. They gave me a lot of confidence. So, I feel really happy and relaxed in the dressing room,” he said. Insisting that fitness is key to success for an all-rounder, Shivam said he is confident about his bowling skills.It’s always difficult being an all-rounder. Most important for me is to maintain my fitness levels because as an all-rounder, you need to both bat and bowl. So, maintaining fitness is really a difficult job,” he said.

“I am very confident of my bowling. In T20 games, every bowler gets a bad as well as a good game. So, I try to prepare myself in very good situations and I feel that I can be a proper bowler who can bowl four overs. I have done that job,” he added. Shivam Dube rated the West Indies as a good T20 side but said he is confident of India pocketing the series easily.

“They (West Indies) have got a good T20 side but we have prepared very nicely. I think India is the best team in world cricket and we will win the series,” he said.

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