Shivam Dube starred for the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in a dominant victory for the side against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Saturday, scoring an unbeaten 64 off 42 deliveries to lead a successful 190-run chase with 15 balls to spare. Dube, who was playing in his first match of 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) since its resumption in the United Arab Emirates, came at number 4 and showed exemplary stroke-playing throughout his innings, overpowering the current table-toppers with relative ease.
The innings was a much-needed boost for both, the Royals and Dube, both of whom have been struggling withÂ inconsistency of late. While the RR kept themselves alive in the race for top-4 with the 7-wicket win over CSK, Dube handed out a reminder of his skills and the ability to steer a high-scoring run-chase.
Primarily an all-rounder, Dube didn’t bowl in the game against Royals but retained his fourth position in the RR batting order. He made a slow start to his innings, as a supersonic start to the innings from openers Yashasvi Jaiswal (50 off 21 deliveries) and Evin Lewis (27 off 12) allowed him to bide time on the crease.
He scored only 4 runs off the first seven deliveries before taking on spinner Ravindra Jadeja in the ninth over of the innings. He slammed a six off the left-arm spinner, and then smashed two successive sixes off Moeen Ali in the next over. His aggressive batting allowed captain Sanju Samson to play the anchor — a role he has efficiently grown into, specifically in the UAE leg of the 2021 season.
In the 12th over, Dube took on pacer Sam Curran, attacking the leg side with a boundary towards wide long-on. Dube’s relentless attack, coupled with Royals’ quick start to the innings, put pressure on the CSK bowler as he wandered off his line, bowling two wides in the over before Dube bludgeoned the fourth delivery over deep midwicket for another six.
From 4 off seven deliveries, Dube accelerated to 41 off 24 balls, accumulating 37 runs in merely 17 balls. The left-handed batter completed his half-century in the 14th over.Â
After RR captain Sanju Samson was dismissed, however, Dube adopted a more careful approach, dealing in singles and doubles. He eventually remained unbeaten on 64, which is also his highest score in the shortest format.
In the post-match press conference, Dube insisted that he needed this knock.
“Obviously, this knock was much needed for me and my team. This knock is totally for my team. We are on number six in the points table and if we really play well in our remaining two matches, we can qualify for the playoffs. It was really important and talking about bench, it is about the team and what combination the side wants to go in with. I was waiting for my chance and I got the chance and I performed well,” the left-handed batter said.
He also credited openers Jaiswal and Lewis for providing a brisk start to the side.
“Any team needs a good start, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Evin Lewis were amazing. Yashasvi was batting differently today, we needed that kind of start against CSK and we had it and hence we finished the match so early,” said Dube.