Shivam Dube sheds light on Rohit Sharma's role in his match-winning effort against Afghanistan

Dube blazed in Mohali's chill, his unbeaten 60 warming India's chase, powering them past 159 with ease. Player of the Match, he has now brought himself in contention for a World-Cup spot.

Sarah Andrew
New Update
Shivam Dube celebrates after reaching his half-century.

Shivam Dube's success will inspire confidence in the management as they prepare for the T20 World Cup.

In the icy embrace of a chilly Mohali night, India warmed up for the upcoming T20 World Cup with a commanding six-wicket victory over Afghanistan in the opening match of their three-match T20I series. Chasing a modest target of 159, India rode on a blistering unbeaten half-century by Shivam Dube, who defied the biting cold to carve out a match-winning knock.

Dube, who was recalled to the Indian squad after a long hiatus, showcased his all-round skills, scoring a well-constructed 60 off 40 balls and chipping in with a wicket with his medium pace. His knock was ably supported by contributions from Jitesh Sharma (31), Tilak Varma (26), Shubman Gill (23) and Rinku Singh (16) as India cruised to a comfortable win.

Earlier, Afghanistan posted a competitive total of 158/5 on the board, thanks to a late cameo from Mohammad Nabi, who smashed 42 off 27 balls. Openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Azmatullah Omarzai, Najibullah Zadran and Karim Janat were the other contributors. 

Axar Patel was the pick of the bowlers for India, claiming two wickets for 23 runs, while Mukesh Kumar also bagged a couple of scalps. The win gives India a 1-0 lead in the series, heading into the second match at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on Sunday.

"Rohit Sharma backed me" - Shivam Dube on skipper's support after India's win

Dube's performance was the major highlight of the match. The left-handed batter looked assured at the crease and played some audacious strokes to dismantle the Afghan bowling attack. His knock included five fours and two sixes, and he received the Player of the Match award for his outstanding contribution.

Speaking to the broadcaster after the game, Dube gave credit to skipper Rohit Sharma for backing and instilling belief in him. "Rohit Sharma backed me and said to me that I can do it from any situation, we believe in you. He told me to be positive which helped me," the 30-year old said.

Dube also spoke about the impact that the great MS Dhoni has had on his career. Dube said that he has picked up a lot of lessons from the World Cup winning captain as they share the same dressing room in the cash-rich Indian Premier League. "I learned it from MS Dhoni, I wanted to finish the match well. I always keep talking to Mahi bhai. He's such a big legend. I always keep learning from him. He always rates me and that gives me motivation to keep playing well," he said.

Shivam Dube rohit sharma MS Dhoni INDvsAFG