India’s young all-rounder Shivam Dube is slowly making his mark in the side and that’s a plus for the Virat Kohli-led team. Dube, who made his T20I debut for India in the series against Bangladesh back in November 2019, has played 10 matches since then. The player, who is touted to be a big force in time to come, has shown flashes of brilliance. He gives everything on the field and is constantly learning the tricks and trades of the game.

Dube made his foray into the side in the absence of pace-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya. The latter has been out of the side for a while now and is yet to recover 100% from the back injury. Pandya is no doubt India’s best bet in this role especially when India need a fourth pacer in the side and a power-hitter at number seven. One thought how will India do without the explosive Pandya in this department? However, Dube has shown he can be a solution.

In the ongoing T20Is against New Zealand, Dube showed his calm approach after picking two wickets in the middle across the first two games. Not just that, he got useful scores of 13 and 8*. In the second T20I, Dube finished the chase with a six. That will give him a lot of confidence. A clean hitter of the ball, Dube is a pretty dangerous customer when he gets going. He has featured in 10 T20Is and has scored 85 runs at 28.33. He has three more T20I left and the focus will be to perform well in order to build a platform for a place in the side during the ODI series.

If Dube can build on from the start he has got in New Zealand, the team will not be able to drop him. What it also does is that it will force Pandya to prove himself with some strong performances in domestic cricket. If Pandya does that and has a good Indian Premier League (IPL) 13th edition, then he can have an easy shout, However, Dube too will aim to be at his best during this phase. Somehow, if Pandya fails, then Dube could keep him out. With the ICC World T20 to be held in 2020 in Australia, Pandya’s return to the side is not assured.

Dube knows he has the chance to push Pandya all the way and fight for a place. That will be a fitting response after all the chances he has got so far in Pandya’s absence. The team management will also be keen to see Dube doing well and presenting a chance for himself to deliver more success as the time progresses.

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