Dube, a 27-year-old all-rounder, was bought by Royals for Rs. 4.4 Crore at the last IPL players auction. The Mumbai born cricketer is gearing up for the new challenge and looking forward to learning from the likes of Kumar Sangakkara, who has been appointed as the Royals’ Director of Cricket, and star all-rounder Ben Stokes.
“It feels really good to be part of the Rajasthan Royals. I am really excited to play alongside Sanju Samson. He is one of my very good friends in the Indian cricket team. I know him really well. Our side looks strong and I am sure we will lift the trophy this time,” Dube told Timesofindia.com in an exclusive interview.
“I learnt a lot at RCB. The experience was huge. Virat has a lot of experience. He is one of the best cricketers in the world. He is currently at the highest level of cricket. I have learnt a lot from him,” Dube, who played two seasons of the IPL for RCB further said.
Sri Lankan legend Sangakkara was earlier appointed as the Director of Cricket by the Royals for IPL 2021. The former wicket-keeper batsman scored over 28,000 runs for Sri Lanka in his illustrious career.
Dube, a left-handed batsman, who has played 15 IPL matches in his career so far, scoring 169 runs and taking 4 wickets, is looking forward to picking Sangakkara’s brain.
Simple. Practical. Effective. It’s Sanga time. 👊🏻#HallaBol | #RoyalsFamily | #IPL2021 | @KumarSanga2 https://t.co/VVGtCSBMfq
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) 1617791382000
“I am excited to play under the guidance of Kumar Sangakkara. He is a legend of the game. I am looking forward to learning and taking some cricketing tips from him. He is one of the greatest left-handers I have seen. I want to ask him how he used to prepare himself ahead of a big game as a batsman. He has dominated all the formats of the game. I am looking forward to learning a lot of things from a legend like him,” Dube further told TimesofIndia.com.
Which Shivam Dube is your favourite Shivam Dube? 🤔#HallaBol | #RoyalsFamily | #IPL2021 | @IamShivamDube https://t.co/q8dfunmH9g
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) 1617713057000
When it comes to all-rounders, the Royals also have the likes of Chris Morris and Stokes in their side. Morris entered the last IPL auction pool at a base price of Rs. 75 lakhs and was eventually sold to the Royals for a whopping Rs. 16.25 crore, making him the most-expensive buy ever in IPL auction history.
The Royals also have a new captain this time. The very talented wicket-keeper batsman Sanju Samson will lead the side this season. The franchise have so far won the IPL title just once, which was in the inaugural season in 2008 under the captaincy of Shane Warne.
In the T20 format, all rounders are worth their weight in gold. And Dube feels that the Royals are well placed this season because they have the services of a number of all-rounders.
“Having all-rounders in the team always benefits the team. It is going to be really exciting. We (Stokes, Morris, Dube) are three all-rounders which means the captain will have more all-round player options. Sanju can have more options in both bowling and batting. I have played with Chris Morris. He is an amazing all-rounder. I am really looking forward to sharing a spot in the playing XI with Ben Stokes. Stokes is one of the greatest all-rounders. I am sure I will learn a lot from him,” Dube said.
Dube has so far played 1 ODI and 13 T20Is for India. He made his international debut in a T20I vs Bangladesh in November 2019. Comparisons with the legendary Yuvraj Singh soon followed. He was also the part of the Indian team that travelled to New Zealand in 2020.
Dube has so far scored 105 runs in 13 T20Is for India, with a highest score of 54 and taken 5 wickets. In the only ODI he has played so far, which was against the West Indies in Chennai in December 2019, the 27 year old scored a 6 ball 9 and bowled 7.5 overs, giving away 68 runs and was wicket-less.
The last international match he played for India was over a year ago – a T20I vs New Zealand in February 2020.
On being asked about a possible comeback to the Indian side and whether he thinks he can make the cut for the ICC T20 World Cup squad, Dube said: “It is going to be a huge challenge to make a comeback to the Indian side”.
“There’s a lot of competition currently. But I am working very hard. I have a dream to play in a World Cup and win the trophy for my country. I am preparing myself to try and get back into the Indian side,” Dube signed off.