Saturday, June 22, 2024

Why Shivam Dube won’t make the cut for India’s T20 World Cup opener against Ireland

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Dube was selected as an aggressive middle-overs batter who kept the scoring rate high during the 7-15 overs and didn’t let the spinners take control of the game.

When Team India announced their squad for the T20 World Cup, it was no surprise that Shivam Dube was included. He may have taken Rinku Singh’s spot, but such was his performance that no one questioned the selection committee’s decision. Up until that point, he’d scored 353 runs at 58.83 and was striking the ball at 173.89 in the IPL 2024.

He was having an all-time great season and had singlehandedly won the Chennai Super Kings matches. This was the story about one month; since then, he’s scored just 60 runs in the next six matches. One of these matches was the India vs Bangladesh warm-up game. An encounter where the spin specialist faced no pacers and ended up with a strike rate of 87.5

Shivam Dube’s T20 record since his selection

  • Scores: 14(16), 7(15), 18(11), 21(13), 0(1), 0(1)
  • Strike rate: 117.64
  • Average: 10

Indian Cricket

What has changed?

This begs the question: out of the blue, what happened to Shivam Dube? This conundrum has a one-word answer, form. We have seen batters go through slumps. Some take a week or month to get out of it; others take years or never really recover. For someone like Dube, going from murdering spin bowlers to ending up striking less than run-a-ball is a concern.

The unfortunate thing is, he can’t do much to change it. To get back into form, practice won’t do much good. One can’t possibly recreate a match situation and pressure in the nets. For that, you need to figure things out in real time. But the T20 format doesn’t allow that.

Unlike Tests or ODIs, you don’t have enough time to get yourself back into form or rhythm. Now what Rohit Sharma can do is either take a punt on him and play him in the India vs Ireland match or drop him.

Why Shivam won’t play India’s T20 World Cup opener

Four games—that’s all Team India has to make it to the next round. Given the caliber and expectations, the Men in Blue would be gunning to top their group (A). That means there is no chance to be complacent. We have already seen Ireland beat Pakistan last month, and the USA beat Bangladesh 2-1 just two weeks ago.

Despite being seen as smaller sides, one can’t take any of the teams ranked outside the top 10 lightly. To ensure that they win it all, the Indian management must field an XI that is balanced and in form. Their two leaders (captain and vice-captain) haven’t been in the finest of form, and to carry someone else who hasn’t been finding any success is a recipe for disaster.

Having Rishabh Pant in the squad won’t help Shivam Dube either. Pant, much like Dube, is a spin basher, a middle-order batter, and a left-hander. He also scored 43(20) against Bangladeshi spinners, while Dube managed to score just 14(16). Pant also has a second skill, like Dube, wicketkeeping.

Having another pace bowler is helpful, but Dube isn’t a 140-click bowler who gets good bounce like Pandya. He is a slow medium pacer who may give you a couple of overs on a good day and against weaker teams. If his batting was firing, he was a potential shoo-in, but he seems far away from the team sheet for the India vs Ireland match.

Editors pick

Crucial 4-way battle between Jaiswal, Rohit, Kohli & Samson for opener slots in IND vs IRE match


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