The Shivam Dube journey - from school cricket to the Indian team

Price tag doesn't add pressure - Shivam Dube (1:44)

Mumbai allrounder was picked by RCB for INR 5 crore (1:44)

How did Shivam Dube come into the limelight?

Shivam Dube is a 26-year-old allrounder from Mumbai. Tall, at six feet, he is capable of bowling right-arm seam-ups in the mid-130s and is a strong left-hand middle-order batsman.

He first drew attention when he hit experienced legspinner Pravin Tambe for five successive sixes in a Mumbai T20 League fixture in March 2018. In the final of the DY Patil T20 tournament that year, he made a quickfire 34 and picked up 3 for 7 in a match-winning spell for BPCL.

When he struck five sixes off five deliveries in a Ranji Trophy game for Mumbai against Baroda in December 2018, IPL franchises took notice. The next day, he was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for INR 5 crore, though he hardly made their playing XI during the season, featuring only in four out of 14 matches.

He's also been a regular of the Mumbai domestic team over the past two seasons.

Is he a product of the school-cricket system in Mumbai?

While he helped Hansraj Morarji School win the Under-14 Giles Shield in Mumbai, he missed cricket in his late teens - 15 to 20 - because of personal reasons. When he returned, he still possessed the ability to hit big sixes, but recognition eluded him until he shed 10 kilos to improve hit fitness and agility.

How has Dube done with bat and ball?

In IPL 2019, he played four games, scoring 40 runs at a strike-rate of 121 but went wicketless. Thereafter, Dube impressed with two fifties in four innings for India A against West Indies A in the Caribbean, with an average of 60 with the bat. In the first four-day game in West Indies, India A's top order was blown away. His century stand with Wriddhiman Saha helped them get a lead when it didn't look possible at one stage. He hit 71, the highest score of the Indian innings, out of which 52 were in boundaries.

Then in the second four-day fixture, India A were 20 for 5 on a green top. Dube came in, smashed the bowling to make 79, again the highest score of the innings. This helped them eke out a lead. With the ball, he took five wickets in three unofficial Tests at an average of 33.60. Surprisingly, he did not feature in the white-ball leg of that tour.

When South Africa A toured India, Dube was the leading run-scorer for the hosts during the List A leg. He smashed 155 runs from four innings, three of which were not-outs, at a strike rate of 144.85.

More recently, Dube helped Mumbai to a quarter-final finish in the 2019-20 Vijay Hazare Trophy, scoring 177 runs in five innings, remaining not out thrice. He averaged 88.50 at a strike rate of 146.28. His 118 against Karnataka, from No. 6, included seven fours and ten sixes to lift Mumbai to 303 although they lost by nine runs in the end.

How did he get into cricket?

A young Dube, all of 10, used to receive throwdowns in his residential colony from his domestic help, who would then have to fetch the ball back from different corners of the playing area. His cricketing ability as a kid attracted his father's attention.

What they said?

India's chairman of selectors, MSK Prasad: "In our earlier T20 squad, we had Hardik [who's now recovering from back surgery]. We also tried Vijay Shankar. We all felt that the role Shivam has to deliver in, he fits it much better. He bats aggressively, his performances in the India A series in the West Indies and also against South Africa in the one-dayers was phenomenal. Dube has come up by leaps and bounds and we are convinced."