Here to win matches for India, not replace Hardik, says Shivam Dube

Updates from : the Hindu

Playing with two allrounders is good for any team: Dube

Shivam Dube’s exploits from Ranji Trophy to India-A last year came at a time when Hardik Pandya and Vijay Shankar were nursing injuries, so the burly cricketer was catapulted into the India squad.

The Mumbai allrounder has had a topsy-turvy ride so far in his 13 T20Is and a solitary ODI. The six-hitting sensation opens up in a chat with The Hindu on being considered as Hardik’s replacement and that fateful over in February in which he conceded 34 runs in the last T20I against New Zealand. Excerpts:

You have had limited opportunities with the bat and ball in international cricket. Easy to pick the best moment yet, right?

Yes, kind of. That knock in Thiruvananthapuram (30-ball 54 after being promoted to No. 3 against West Indies) was satisfying. Any good outing, be it with the ball or the ball, in international cricket gives you a lot of confidence. What really pleased me about that knock in Hyderabad was that it came under pressure.

Now that Hardik is back, you have had to make way for him. How do you look at it?

Whenever I am reminded that you are here to replace Hardik Pandya, I have said: “No, I am not here to replace Hardik Pandya, I am here to perform well and win matches for India”. Obviously Hardik is a senior and a crucial player, so whenever he is fit, he is going to walk into the team.

I feel playing with two allrounders is always good for any team. It gives many options to the captain. I think there’s more percentage of winning matches with two allrounders.

Can you talk us through that one over in Mount Maunganui?

You saw all about that over, why do you want to ask me about it! But I’ll tell you about that. There was a dropped catch, a misfield and all that. It’s part of the game. I know I went for 34 runs but it’s okay. It happens sometimes under pressure. What matters the most is we won the match.

The series was already won but despite that over, we won the match. After the match, all the teammates told me “don’t worry, it happens”. Even I thought the same. There was no point in keeping on thinking about it.

What is the goal you have set for yourself for the next 12 months?

I was really looking forward to playing the Irani Cup (suspended due to COVID-19 outbreak). For me, it’s just the beginning, I need to improve myself a lot.

I am not someone who sets goals in terms of numbers. Be it on the field or off it while working on my fitness, I just have to ensure that I keep getting better as a cricketer.

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