10 Inspiring facts about Shivam Dube - From an overweight kid to India's new pace all-rounder

10 Inspiring facts about Shivam Dube – From an overweight kid to India’s new pace all-rounder

Who is Shivam Dube? How did he make it to the national set-up?

Shivam Dube
Shivam Dube. (Photo Source: Instagram)

Team India have announced their 15-man squad for the three-match Twenty20 series against Bangladesh. Regular captain, Virat Kohli has been given rest for the rubber with Rohit Sharma to serve in the absence of the former. Yuzvendra Chahal and Shardul Thakur return to the T20 set-up but the two most notable inclusions were Sanju Samson and all-rounder, Shivam Dube.

Yep! Another precocious talent out of the cricketing factory that is Mumbai is set to make his India debut. The 26-year-old all-rounder Shivam Dube’s dream of making it to the national side has turned into reality. The all-rounder has been lurking on the fringes of the Indian set-up for some time and it finally happened when the national selectors finally decided to unleash Dube on the International stage in the upcoming three-match T20I series against Bangladesh.

So, who is Shivam Dube? How did he make it to the national set-up? What has he done to merit selection? Here’s a ready reckoner on India’s latest debutant.

1. Born in Mumbai

Well, Yes! the all-rounder is yet another talent that has honed his skills from the well-documented school-cricket system of Mumbai; one that has previously nurtured precious talents and eventual cricketing demi-gods like Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma…Oh! The list is endless.

2. Helped his school win U14 Giles Shield

As a young kid, Dube used to receive throwdowns from his maid, who would have a hard time fetching the balls from all-corners of the playing field. Impressed at what he saw, Dube’s father realized that the kid was something special! Dube helped his school Hansraj Moraji win the U14 Giles Shield.

3. Dube was overweight during his U14 days

According to Nilesh Bhosale, Shivam’s school coach, Dube was overweight during his U14 days. “He was a talented cricketer but a fat boy,” Nilesh told Indian Express. “His father, Rajesh, would come to our ground to ensure Shivam got his meat, fresh cow milk badaam and pista! Shivam’s bowling won our school won U14 Giles Shield one season, but lack of fitness and a back problem meant his cricketing career was hit.”

4. Lost 10 kilos in order to concentrate on the game

He missed out on a lot of cricket between the age of 15-20 due to personal reasons. But, when he did make a comeback, the all-rounder still boasted of the ability to hit long sixes but it was after he worked on his fitness (he lost close to ten kilos) that the recognition started to come in; something that had previously eluded him.

5. Smashed Pravin Tambe for 5 consecutive sixes

Dube’s magnanimous ball-hitting talent raised eye-brows when he struck veteran leg-spinner Pravin Tambe for five consecutive sixes in a Mumbai T20 League fixture in the March of 2018. And, he didn’t stop here! Later that year, in the final of the DY Patil T20 tournament, the all-rounder scored a whirlwind 34 before taking 3-7 to win the title for his team: BPCL.

6. Impressive Ranji season and IPL debut

Dube’s stock rose to its zenith during the 2018-19 season of the Ranji Trophy. In what was a hugely disappointing campaign for Mumbai, the all-rounder had a breakout season with both bat and ball,  finishing as the second-highest run-getter, scoring 632 runs while taking 23 wickets at an average of 23.21.

It was during a Ranji Trophy game against Baroda when Dube did an encore of what he had done to Pravin Tambe: five sixes in five balls, that the IPL franchises began to take notice. He was eventually picked up by the Royal Challengers Bangalore for INR 5 Crore for the 2019 season.

7. A disappointing IPL season

Well! You know what happened, don’t you? A complete anti-climax really! In what was another disappointing season for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Dube’s form coupled by paucity of opportunities and the team management’s penchant towards experimenting with the squad, meant the all-rounder had to warm the bench for a major part of his teams’ campaign.

The all-rounder featured in just four games out of the 14 league-stage fixtures, during which he could manage just 40 runs at an average of 13.33 and a strike-rate of 121, besides ending up wicketless with the ball.

8. Got back his impressive form for India A

After a disappointing IPL campaign, Dube turned his focus towards India A and the left-handed all-rounder has been a regular performer since then. During the unofficial Test series against West Indies A in the Caribbean, Dube impressed with his counter-attacking innings of 71 (off 108 balls) during which he stroked seven fours and four sixes, besides stitching a crucial 124-run stand with Wriddhiman Saha. Then in the second Test, when India’s top-order was blown away on a green-top, Dube smashed another whirlwind 79 off 85 balls to take the team out of the precarious position. The all-rounder averaged 60 with the bat besides picking five wickets at an average of 33.60 across four innings.

Dube was surprisingly not picked for the white-ball leg of the West Indies tour, and when South Africa A came calling in September, the all-rounder told the selectors that they have erred when he finished as the leading run-getter in the List-A leg of the series; smashing 155 runs in four innings at a strike-rate of 144.85. In List A cricket, Dube has managed 614 runs at an average of 43.85 and a strike-rate of 121.34 besides picking up 34 wickets at 32.50.

Overall, In 19 T20s thus far, Dube has 242 runs at a strike-rate of 142.35 besides taking 14 wickets at an average of 23.57

9. Continued his form in Vijay Hazare Trophy 2019-20

In what turned out to be a disappointing campaign for Mumbai, Shivam Dube once again did not fail to leave his footprints. In 5 matches, the all-rounder stroked 177 runs (three of them were not-outs) at an average of 88.50 and a strike -rate of 146.28. He was at his brutal best in the Elite Group stage match against Karnataka where he obliterated the opposition bowling attack to the tune of a violent 67-ball 118 (7 fours, 10 sixes); a game Mumbai eventually lost by nine runs.

10. Earned national call-up against Bangladesh

Dube’s inclusion in the national set-up comes at a time when India is struggling for a quality fast bowling all-rounder, especially in white-ball cricket. With Hardik Pandya set to be out of reckoning courtesy his lower-back surgery, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the 26-year-old to nail down his place in the Indian white-ball set-up for next years T20 World Cup.