Had it been some other franchise, the pressure would have increased on Dube. But not when it’s CSK. Rather, the team management internally assessed that it was a mistake on their part to give the 19th over to Dube and started treating him purely as a batsman.
The results came quick – a quickfire half-century against Punjab Kings was followed by a match-winning 95* against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Suddenly, the 28-year-old Mumbai boy is in the centre of conversation, and CSK are insisting that they picked him knowing about his abilities.
“Generally MS Dhoni hits the biggest sixes in practice. But in the practice camp at Surat, Shivam’s sixes were often comfortably 20-30 metres bigger than Dhoni’s. Shivam was breaking glass panes in the fourth tier of the Surat stadium and we knew we had a gem,” a CSK source told TOI.
Dube’s ability to hit big, though, is not unknown. He had once hit senior leggie Pravin Tambe for five consecutive sixes in Mumbai T20 game at the same venue where he teed off on Tuesday. A similar feat followed in Ranji Trophy too which prompted RCB to pick him up at the auction. But playing under Virat Kohli, the allrounder couldn’t find his niche, even though he did play 13 T20Is for India, failing to make a mark.
In Pics, IPL 2022 Match 22: Chennai beat Bangalore to end losing streak
<p>Chennai Super Kings ended their four-match losing streak with a 23-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday. (BCCI/IPL Photo)</p>
He could have easily become one of those India discards floating around in the domestic circuit, but CSK management saw a spark in him, especially after a match-winning 64* that he scored against the franchise for Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi.
They picked him at the auction, believed in him and gave him the confidence that he would not be dropped after one or two failures.
“They gave me security. I always back my game, I am hitting balls which I feel are there to be hit… I am trying to play my natural game,” Dube said after the RCB game.
The CSK management knows that Dube can be a killer against spin. That’s why when RCB tried to strangle CSK with Wanindu Hasaranga, Glenn Maxwell and Shahbaz Ahmed, the left-hander was sent in ahead of Ambati Rayudu and Ravindra Jadeja. And with Dube having played a lot of his T20 cricket at DY Patil Stadium, he knew exactly what to expect.
“What I have been trying to do for a long time, I am able to execute that now… My idea is to not think too much, back myself, keep my balance.”