Dube: I wanted to implement what I’ve learnt from Dhoni on finishing games

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Shivam Dube has credited his CSK captain MS Dhoni for the transformation in his attitude and approach after he returned to the Indian team with a match-winning 60 off 40 balls against Afghanistan in the first T20I to script India’s six-wicket win.

Dube’s fifty and bowling figures of 1 for 9 from two overs headlined India’s performance for the 1-0 lead as he returned to the T20I XI for the first time since the Asian Games since October last year.

“When I came to bat, I wanted to implement what I have learnt from MS Dhoni about finishing games,” Dubey told the host broadcaster. I keep speaking to Mahi bhai. He tells me about how to tackle different situations. He has given me two-three tips and rated my batting.

“So, I feel if he rates my batting then I’ll keep playing well. My confidence went up because of that.”

Dube was picked for the India home T20Is against Australia but did not get a game then and was left out for the away series against South Africa. Dubey said both Dhoni and India captain Rohit Sharma back him which gives him the confidence to perform.

“Both allow me to bat higher in the order,” he said. “There’s a lot of work to be done and I know they will back me and want me to do well. So, that makes me feel a lot more positive.”

Dubey bowled the ninth and 12th overs and dismissed Ibrahim Zadran for 25 with his second ball. His first over went for just two runs and the second for seven.

“The changes have not come suddenly,” Dube said of his bowling. “In the off-season, I worked a lot on my fitness. After that, I bowled a lot in domestic cricket too so things kept improving. I was able to find the right areas and also generated decent pace.”

This is India’s last T20I series before the T20 World Cup in June, although the squad selection for that could also depend on IPL performances. Dube was, however, not thinking too far ahead.

“It’s a dream for every cricketer to contribute and help his country win,” he said. So, that’s (selection for the World Cup) always at the back of the mind. But there’s a lot of time left for it, so I want to take it step by step.”

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