T20 World Cup: India wait on Shivam Dube to deliver on big stage | Cricket News – Times of India

Big-hitter has struggled to get going so far
NEW YORK: There aren’t too many areas that may concern India as they go into their game against the United States, the form of Shivam Dube being an exception.
But then, the pitch at the Nassau County Ground hasn’t been batter-friendly and the big Chennai Super Kings basher hasn’t exactly been brought into this World Cup to play sheet anchor.
But what should be a real worry for the team management was the sitter that Dube dropped off Mohammed Rizwan on Sunday at fine-leg, a spill that came close to taking the game away from India.
It smacked of self-doubt. Is there a lack of confidence that is hurting the 30-year-old, who has struck a bit of a lean patch since his name was announced for the T20 World Cup? He struggled in the back-end of the IPL and now with the World Cup moving into higher gear, the man with long levers has to step up.
What exactly is prompting captain Rohit Sharma to persist with the Mumbai cricketer? From the few interactions that he had with the media in New York, it seems quite evident that the skipper, after the disappointment of the ODI World Cup final, has come here with some set plans.
Prime on his agenda is “flexibility in the batting lineup”, whereby no one else other than Virat Kohli and Rohit himself, has a fixed slot. “I have told them that it will be a case of horses for courses. Barring the opening slot, anyone can come anywhere,” Rohit said.
He walked the talk in the Pakistan game, when Axar Patel was sent ahead of Dube, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja. The move did pay dividends, to an extent.
The two players who can replace Dube in the XI – Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sanju Samson – are primarily top three batters and Rohit, probably, is a little reluctant to curtail his flexibility.
The second important factor, which Rohit prefers to keep a secret, is his plan for the West Indies, where India will play from the Super-8s. As per the skipper’s calculations, the spinners will call the shots in some of the Caribbean venues and that’s where a batter like Dube might be the most dangerous.
His monstrous hitting against slower bowlers was one of the talking points of the first phase of the IPL and Rohit, one feels, is trying his best to build Dube’s confidence.
In India’s nets sessions at Cantiague Park, another important aspect is the amount of bowling that Dube has done. Owing to the ‘impact sub’ rule, he didn’t get too many chances to bowl his medium-pace in the IPL, but the team management wants to keep him ready as a back-up option for Hardik.
“Four allrounders (Hardik, Axar and Jadeja being the three others) allows the team to have a lot of flexibility. I have a lot more options to choose from, which is very important in today’s T20 cricket,” Rohit had said.
It’s this template that the skipper has set in his desperation for the elusive ICC silverware that is helping Dube’s cause for the time being.
One feels he will get a little more time – specifically the games against USA and Canada – to hit some form so that India can stick to the plans and push for ultimate glory.

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