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T20 World Cup: Under-fire Dube delivers in crunch

The all-rounder's inclusion into India’s playing XI for their first game against Ireland was questioned.
Last Updated : 13 June 2024, 16:26 IST

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New York: Shivam Dube’s inclusion in India’s T20 World Cup squad didn’t go down well with a lot of people. 

Sure, he had had a good Indian Premier League for the Chennai Super Kings only a few days prior, but even there his form had begun to dwindle towards the fag end. 

Dube’s inclusion into India’s playing XI for their first game against Ireland was questioned, but the management offered a reasonable enough explanation, saying they wanted an additional seamer, who could bat, on pace-friendly conditions at the Nassau County International stadium.

He didn’t bowl in the game and got to play out two deliveries for an unbeaten zero in India’s eight-wicket win. 

When the management stuck to the same playing XI in the next game, assuming the same rationale, it made sense, but when he put down a sitter, of Mohammed Rizwan no less, in India’s tricky game against Pakistan, Dube’s neck was under a metaphorical guillotine. 

That drop could well have cost India the game, but, luckily, it didn’t. India won by six runs. 

India named an unchanged side for the game against the United States of America on Wednesday. Even as arm-chair activists on social media were hotting up, Dube’s inability to find the middle of his bat became a running joke. 

It went on and on, some even asking him to retire hurt. India were staring down the barrel of a stiff chase, and the 30-year-old was wasting deliveries when even run-a-ball would suffice. 

And, then came the six. Dube hammered Corey Anderson’s length ball for an 87-metre ‘out of the world’ hit over to the second tier. Thereafter, he wasn’t nearly as unappealing to look at it. India won by seven wickets, and Dube remained unbeaten on 31, his first real contribution at his first World Cup. 

“Yeah, I was waiting for that ball, that one ball,” he said after the game. “It’s not easy batting on that wicket. Some balls are kicking up, some are sticking, some are sliding through from the same spot, some are staying low, and some are getting slow… it’s really hard to just bat. You just have to be patient.”

“I don’t think we have seen a T20 World Cup pitch like this, ever,” he added. 

Dube also said that he didn’t doubt himself during the chase, or in the form-lull since the second half of the IPL. “See, these conditions are not what we were playing on during the IPL so we have to adapt. I knew I could do it eventually, the management put their faith in me too, so it was only a matter of sticking to the process and waiting for it to work. Thankfully, it did today.” 

When asked if he would put behind some of what has happened during this World Cup, the dropped catch included, he, quite sweetly, said: “I won’t delete anything from my memory, it’s my first World Cup, I won’t delete anything. Good or bad."

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Published 13 June 2024, 16:26 IST

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