IPL 2024: 'Dube put in tremendous effort to be more effective against pacers', says Eric Simons

April 15, 2024
Apart from Chennai Super Kings Ruturaj Gaikwad top-scoring in the side’s 20-run win over Mumbai Indians

Mumbai, April 15 (IANS) Apart from Chennai Super Kings Ruturaj Gaikwad top-scoring in the side’s 20-run win over Mumbai Indians, the in-form Shivam Dube also left an incredible impression in the innings by smashing an unbeaten 38-ball 66, laced with ten fours and two sixes at a strike-rate of 173.68.

In Sunday’s match at the Wankhede Stadium, Dube faced just one ball from leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal, and was peppered with fast-bowlers bowling constantly at him to stem the run-flow by using short balls, his nemesis.

But Dube combined his trademark power along with timing and placement to hit all of his boundaries with immaculate ease and precision against MI’s five-man fast-bowling attack. His cover drives were also a sight to behold as Dube continued his good form in IPL 2024 and more importantly, in getting his big runs off fast-bowlers.

“He is putting a tremendous amount of effort in, especially the fact that when he comes on, they take the spinners off, they put the pacemen on, so he’s become more and more effective at that. It’s about how you control the match and someone like him can control it because they can’t spin the ball anymore.

“They don’t want to, they’re scared to. So it is great to see the rewards he’s getting, particularly against the pacemen, because the more effective he gets with that, the more the opposition has to strategize against us. But a tremendous reward for what he’s doing,” said Eric Simons, CSK’s bowling consultant in the post-match press conference.

In six innings of IPL 2024, Dube has scored 242 runs at an average of 60.5 and strike rate of 163.51, including two fifties. “I think one of the most important things you can give your cricketers is something called safety. Psychological safety is the buzzword, but safety to fail, safety to try, grow and be challenged all the time, but be trusted.

“That’s one of the things that happens at CSK, certainly from Dube’s perspective. To play like he does, you have to take risks, he was battling a bit, and allowing someone to grow, and make mistakes helps him grow. We are just unlocking his talent,” added Simons.

But the biggest moment in the match came when MS Dhoni came out to bat and smashed a highly valuable 20 not out off four balls, including three sixes off Hardik Pandya, that enthralled the spectators in an unbelievable fashion and take CSK to 206, which was enough to seal a 20-run win.

“Such an important thing is the psychological pressure you put an opposition in when you go into the break. You go to the changeroom and you have an over like that, it gives you massive momentum. They were looking to restrict us under 200 and suddenly they were facing 206 with an over like that. MS Dhoni continues to amaze us.

“To go out there and hit the first ball like that for six and continue the way he did was exceptional. He has been batting exceptionally well in the nets all the way through, pre-season and into the tournament. It was just another unbelievable MS Dhoni moment.

“Dhoni is one of the most incredible cricketers I have come across. Just the way he goes about it, calmness at the wicket. We use him as a batting template when we are bowling at the death because he is so good at it. We can test out our theories against him, and we know that we are going to do well,” concluded Simons.

CSK now have eight points from six games and are at third place in the points table, with their next challenge being a travel to Lucknow to take on Lucknow Super Giants at the BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium on April 19.



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