Shivam Dube handed T20WC boost in fresh 'identify your game plan' advice to Agarkar as Hardik Pandya battle heats up | Crickit
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Shivam Dube handed T20WC boost in fresh 'identify your game plan' advice to Agarkar as Hardik Pandya battle heats up

Apr 14, 2024 02:52 PM IST

Hardik Pandya's questionable form has left many experts wondering if India should consider Shivam Dube ahead for a spot in the T20 World Cup squad

There will be a battle within a battle on Sunday night at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Besides Mumbai Indians hosting defending champions Chennai Super Kings with the aim to stretch their winning record at home and keep CSK winless away from Chepauk, the blockbuster clash will also witness a competition between Shivam Dube and Hardik Pandya, who are both battling for a spot in India's T20 World Cup squad. Ahead of the big match, former CSK coach Stephen Fleming handed a major boost to Dube amid his battle against Hardik before giving fresh selection advice to India chief selector Agarkar.

CSK coach Stephen Fleming has backed Shivam Dube for a spot in T20 World Cup
CSK coach Stephen Fleming has backed Shivam Dube for a spot in T20 World Cup

Dube has been in swashbuckling form for Chennai in IPL over the last two years. In 2023, he notched up 418 runs at a strike rate of 158.33 with three fifties. In the ongoing season, he carved out 176 runs so far in five matches at a strike rate of 160 with a match-winning fifty.

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While Dube has remained a secondary option to Hardik amid his stellar form in the format since 2023, the MI skipper has shown signs of struggle so far in the tournament. In five matches, he has scored just 129 runs without a fifty, and has picked up only one wicket in eight overs so far. However, his stance over bowling just one over in the last three matches for MI has left many wondering if Hardik should be picked for the World Cup squad solely on his batting.

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Speaking to the press on Saturday, before the match against Mumbai, Fleming backed Dube for a spot in the World Cup, although he admitted that he is "biased".

“I love his power. I’m biased, aren’t I? But I think when you have a bit different power like that; I would have him in the side,” he said.

The former New Zealand cricketer then offered a piece of advice to Agarkar, saying that India should decide on their approach in the format first and then pick the players rather than doing the opposite.

“The thing for me is, what type of game plan do they (India) want to play during the World Cup? What have they identified as the right style of play for India in an away condition,” Fleming said.

“Then put players into that rather than just picking players and trying to find a game plan. I would be looking at the style of play that I would want, and then pick the players that are in-form and can perform the role that will best win that design. It’s probably one of the hardest jobs in world cricket, isn’t it, being an Indian selector. On one hand, very jealous as a New Zealander looking at the amount of talent that is on show and new players every game sort of pop up,” he added.

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