Players to watch IPL 2019. Most Expensive Signings IPL 2019. Best Young Players in the IPL 2019. Who is Shivam Dube?
Shivam Dube is another interesting story much like that of Varun Chakravarthy in that he is a player who turned away from cricket and was almost lost to the game only to now find himself playing at the very highest level and with some of the biggest name stars around.
Dube was a promising cricketer coming through the local schools system in Mumbai and by the age of 13 he had already established himself as a big-hitting lower order batsman and more than handy medium pace bowler. However, due to "family problems of a personal nature", Dube spent the best part of 5 years away from the game. The youngster has never publically announced what these issues were but one of the main barriers that stood in his way and has continued to do so through what is now essentially the middle of his career (he is 25) was the lack of fitness that followed that self-imposed exile. Indeed, Dube was described as being fat by several coaches in the Mumbai area as he sort to make his comeback and secure a career as a professional cricketer.
After spending a few years in age group cricket again, he finally managed to make it into the Mumbai squad for the 2016 Vijay Hazare Trophy but it was not until 2018 that Dube really started to make headlines with some brutal hitting in all 3 formats of the game.
In 2018, while the big names in world cricket were gearing up for the IPL, Dube was honing his skills for Shivaji Park Lions in the Mumbai T20 league one of the many city/state 20 over leagues that exist all over India. The Lions made it all the way to the final and almost pulled off a stunning win thanks to Dube's last over heroics when chasing 26 from the final 6 deliveries, Dube clubbed 6,4,6,0,6 but missed out on the final ball with just a boundary needed for victory.
From there Dube has become a regular for Mumbai in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, playing in all 9 matches in the latest instalment of India's premier 50 over tournament, making useful contributions with the bat and taking 13 wickets to boot. In fact, it is probably his improvement as a bowler these last 12 months that pays testament to the fact that he is now reaching his peak physical fitness and while he is by no means quick, Dube is still able to bowl some useful medium pace. He mixes some gentle swing with the occasional shorter, heavy ball which you would expect from a guy who is 6ft tall and well built.
Dube went onto to further enhance his reputation with 5 sixes in an over again playing for the Shivaji Park Lions with commentators drawing the obvious comparison between Dube and another explosive Indian left-hander who liked to smash the ball around in Yuraj Singh. Of course Dube will still need to go one better than that if he wants to equal Yuraj's record and on the eve of the IPL auction late last year he very nearly achieved it in a 4 day match in the Ranji Trophy in which he hit the first 5 balls of the over all for maximums!
If the IPL franchises hadn't got Dube on their radars then they certainly had now and from having gone as an unsold player at the lowest base price of 20lakh for the 2018 tournament he was sold to RCB this year for an eye-watering 5 Crore. 4 franchises including his native Mumbai Indians were all in for Dube as the bidding intensified but it was the team led by India captain Virat Kohli that got their man. With the star names, the weight of expectation and the near-perennial failings of RCB to achieve their goals then Dube certainly has his work cut out for him. Equally, RCB have plenty of all-round options to choose from with international stars such as Moeen Ali, Colin de Grandhomme and Marcus Stoinis on the books. However, his home status and the fact that all 3 aforementioned players will be called up to their respective nations World Cup squads Dube is likely to be given a chance to impress at some point during the tournament.
RCB are due to begin their campaign today against reigning champs CSK with many pundits expecting Dube to feature in the 11. Can Dube bring his big hitting to the big stage?