T20 World Cup: ‘The plan was to take the game deep’, Shivam Dube on unbeaten 31 v USA

New York: After India signed off from New York leg of their Men’s T20 World Cup Group A campaign with a hard-fought seven-wicket win over co-hosts USA, batting all-rounder Shivam Dube said the plan alongside Suryakumar Yadav was to take the game deep in order to ace the chase of 111.

At the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, India were at a precarious 39/3 in 7.5 overs, before Suryakumar Yadav stood tall to slam an unbeaten 49-ball 50 while Dube, who struggled to get going initially, made 31 not out off 35 balls.

Left-handed batter Dube found his rhythm when he swatted Corey Anderson for six in the 15th over, and managed to share an unbeaten stand of 72 off 65 balls with fellow Mumbaikar Suryakumar.

“I had to wait for the right ball. It was not easy to come in and start hitting. The plan was to take the game deep. The ball was sticking and staying low. I don’t think any T20 World Cup has seen a pitch like this. From the same spot, one ball came on fast and another one stuck to the surface. It was very difficult to gauge,” said Dube to reporters at the conclusion of the match.

He also quipped that the drop-in pitches at New York being tough to bat means he hasn’t been able to bat in his free-flowing self, which he usually does for India and his IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings.

“It felt like (playing) Ranji Trophy. I don’t think in white ball, conditions dictate how you want to play here. You have to choose your best shot to hit a six. Here, I was waiting for that opportunity. It’s not easy to come here and start hitting from ball one; you have to take your time.”

“Obviously I miss six-hitting at CSK and in India…it’s difficult to bat here in these conditions and in the nets as well. It is definitely better to bowl here, I would have bowled more but was hit for a six and didn’t get opportunity,” he added.

Despite his struggles on tough batting pitches at New York, Dube is not keen to let go of the situations and learnings he took from them. “I won’t delete this from my memory because this is my first World Cup. Only batting is difficult — be it chasing or batting first.”

“But we had a good partnership and we finished early so I would say chasing was little easier after we won. The ball was skidding, staying low, keeping sideways and some were coming very fast off the pitch – it did all sorts of things. So, it was difficult to judge (as a batter) and I don’t think you have ever seen this in a T20 World Cup.”

Dube signed off by saying he got the necessary backing from the Rahul Dravid-led coaching staff in overcoming his batting struggles. “All the support staff and coaches backed me and told me, ‘It’s difficult, but you have the ability to hit sixes, so apply it’.”

“I’ve never doubted myself for what I’ve done in the past. I just think that these conditions do not demand what I’ve done at CSK. These conditions require a different approach, so I was batting differently here.”

–IANS

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