The lightning-fast powerhouse that Dube has developed into

The spinners seem to be terrified by his presence, much as Lord Voldemort would be afraid of Harry Potter due to the young wizard’s prophecy of his destruction. In the IPL, Shivam Dube has developed a similar persona. The opposing captains are afraid that he will blow them out of the park, so they don’t have spinners operating to him.

Hardik Pandya, the captain of the Mumbai Indians, too refrained from using spinners for Dube on Sunday, April 14. He was matched against pacers since it is believed that he is vulnerable to short and quick balls.

The MI spinners had performed very well up until Dube leaped into the midst of the eighth over, giving up just 28 runs in four overs for an economy of seven. This was not bad for a Twenty20 match, especially at a small stadium like the Wankhede. However, Mohammad Nabi (none for 19 in three overs) and Shreyas Gopal (none for nine in one over) were banished as a result of his presence. They didn’t go bowling again.

Dube was given fast and medium pacers and sometimes short balls, but he showed a level of maturity that was above and above expectations. The Chennai Super Kings (206 for 4) were able to construct a formidable defence with to his undefeated 66 at a strike rate of over 170 with 10 fours and 2 sixes. Even Rohit Sharma’s infamously blazing performance of 105 not out could not halt them.

With the possible exception of the highly influential Jasprit Bumrah, Dube viewed the pacers with the same contempt that is said to be directed against the spinners. He was furious at Gerald Coetzee, Hardik Pandya, and Akash Madhwal. Romario Shepherd, a left-hander who not only displayed his trademark power but also consistently found holes in the field, was bowled out for 33 runs in two overs. He had flawless cover drives. Not everything was done with raw force; his borders also flew by sheer time. Three factors were present: power, timing, and location. It was an innings brimming with authority, poise, confidence, and character. He formed two strong partnerships that were vital to the Chennai innings: the first with Gaikwad (90 runs for the third wicket) and the second with Daryl Mitchell (36 runs for the fourth wicket).

“He is working really hard, particularly because when he enters the pitch, the pacemen are replaced by the spinners, and he is getting increasingly good at it. It’s all about controlling the match, and since they are unable to spin the ball anymore, someone like him is able to do so. They’re afraid to, and they don’t want to. Thus, it’s encouraging to see the benefits he’s receiving, especially when it comes to pacemen, since the more successful he becomes at it, the more the opposition must plan their attack against us. But a huge reward for what he’s accomplishing,” CSK’s bowling coach Eric Simons remarked of Dube’s significant advancements as a batter.

Dube became a confident batter at the Chennai Super Kings because to role clarity under the inspiring MS Dhoni, and his ability to smash the ball has been allowed more freedom. He has been thriving in the CSK setup, conquering the apparent weakness against the short deliveries since he has no fear of failing. He has hit 242 runs at 60.50 with a strike rate of 163.51 in six innings thus far, including two half-centuries.

“I believe that safety is one of the most crucial things you can provide for your cricket players. The keyword is psychological safety, but it also refers to safety—safety to attempt, fail, learn, and be constantly challenged—but also safety to be trusted. Regarding the causes of the success of the Chennai players generally and Dube specifically, Simons stated that this is one of the things that takes place at CSK.

The selectors on his selection committee at the time, including the then head selector of India MSK Prasad, had the intention of grooming Dube to be the next Hardik Pandya. This was the same method that was eventually implemented for Venkatesh Iyer and Vijay Shankar. However, because they lacked Pandya’s speed, the plan did not turn out as planned.

Sure, Dube’s bowling ability did not match Pandya’s, but in the previous several IPL seasons—especially this one—he has demonstrated his batting prowess. His performance on Sunday night may have secured his spot in the Indian Twenty20 World Cup team, as pundits like Kevin Pietersen, Sunil Gavaskar, and Ravi Shastri have suggested.

Aside from Dube, a number of players stood up for Chennai: Ruturaj Gaikwad (69), Tushar Deshpande (one for 29), Matheesha Pathirana (four for 28), Shardul Thakur (none for 35; delivered a two-run 15th over to halt the momentum in the MI chase). The most impressive player of them all, though, was MS Dhoni, who scored an incredible four wickets in 20 balls, including three sixes, to change the tide and send the Wankhede crescendo to all-time highs and the CSK total to an unbeatable position. Dhoni’s dismissal ultimately proved to be the difference in runs as MI lost by 20 runs. There’s a reason Thala!

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