Allrounder Shivam Dube has played in just three T20Is but already he’s been compared to experienced Hardik Pandya who is currently recovering from a back surgery. Dube made his India debut during the Bangladesh T20I series last month and played a match-winning role in the series-decider in Nagpur claiming 3/30.Also Read - Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah Will be Team India's X-Factor During T20 World Cup 2021: Ajit Agarkar
The next edition of the ICC T20 World Cup is less than a year away now and with the race to claim a spot heating up, Dube will be eager to impress in the West Indies T20I series that gets underway from Friday. Also Read - After Manchester United, Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh Set To Bid For New IPL Team in 2022 Season: Report
However, the 26-year-old dismisses any comparisons with Pandya saying he’s focused on himself and doing well for the country. “I don’t think it’s an opportunity to replace Hardik but I think I have got a chance and I will try to do well for my country. I have got a job for my country and I will try to do that better,” he said during a media interaction on Wednesday. Also Read - T20 World Cup 2021: Shane Warne Picks His Favourites to Win Title, Bewares Teams For Underestimating Australia
He added, “Everyone is supporting me. The support from captain and the team management was really good for me. They gave me a lot of confidence. So, I feel really happy and relaxed in the dressing room.”
Dube is well aware of the rigours an allrounder, especially someone who bowls fast, has to go through and therefore understands maintaining fitness is of utmost importance. “It’s always difficult being an all-rounder. Most important for me is to maintain my fitness levels because as an all-rounder, you need to both bat and bowl. So, maintaining fitness is really a difficult job,” he said.
While he’s more known for his big-hitting skills, Dube is keen on doing well as a bowler too. “I am very confident of my bowling. In T20 games, every bowler gets a bad as well as a good game. So, I try to prepare myself in very good situations and I feel that I can be a proper bowler who can bowl four overs. I have done that job,” he said.
He predicts India will beat West Indies in the three-match series. “They (West Indies) have got a good T20 side but we have prepared very nicely. I think India is the best team in world cricket and we will win the series,” he said.