Star India all-rounder Shivam Dube is making waves in the ongoing Afghanistan series. His performances leave the Indian cricket selectors in a bit of a quandary, especially with Hardik Pandya set to return to the squad. Dube's stellar performance of an unbeaten 63 runs off 32 balls in the 2nd T20I not only sealed a comfortable victory for Team India but also earned praise from former cricketer Rohan Gavaskar.
With key players like Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav sidelined due to injuries, Dube has stepped up as India's frontline all-rounder, showcasing both his batting prowess and improved bowling skills. Gavaskar, in a conversation with Cricbuzz, pointed out the selection challenges the Indian team faces in the World Cup year, stating that Dube's performances are giving the selectors a tough time.
Dube's notable contributions include a crucial 60 runs off 40 balls in the 1st T20I against Afghanistan, earning him the Player of the Match award. In the second T20I, he continued his impressive form, securing his second successive half-century and ensuring an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
"He is in that World Cup squad," says Rohan Gavaskar
Gavaskar highlighted Dube's essential role in the absence of Pandya, saying, "He is making sure that even if Hardik is fit, he is on that plane in that World Cup squad. If you put in performances like this, it is very hard for anyone to drop you."
Dube's growing comfort at the international level is evident, with Gavaskar noting, "After these two games, I think he now feels that he belongs at the international level."
In addition to his batting heroics, Dube, who bowled the 19th over in the second T20I, has shown improvement in his bowling performance. Despite conceding 20 runs, his added versatility in the bowling department enhances his value as an all-rounder.
As Team India searches for a player with a skillset similar to Pandya's, Dube is emerging as a compelling option, leaving fans and selectors eager to see how his form will impact the squad dynamics moving forward.