Aakash Chopra Advocates for Shivam Dube’s Inclusion

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In a recent commentary on his YouTube channel, former Indian cricketer and now renowned commentator Aakash Chopra shared his insights on the upcoming T20 World Cup, suggesting that India should consider including both all-rounders Shivam Dube and Hardik Pandya in the squad. Chopra drew parallels between Dube’s aggressive style and the legendary Yuvraj Singh, emphasizing the need to deploy Dube strategically in the batting order.

Chopra, 46, expressed his admiration for Dube’s powerful hitting abilities, coining the term “Shivam Ati Sundaram” to highlight the young all-rounder’s prowess. However, Chopra suggested that Dube might be better suited slightly down the order, emphasizing his attacking style and likening him to the iconic Yuvraj Singh, known for his aggressive approach at the crease.

“I felt he was sent slightly early in the third match. You could have sent either Sanju Samson or Rinku Singh ahead of him because he is not a grafter, he is an attacker. He reminds me of Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh). So you need to keep him slightly down the order,” Chopra remarked during his analysis.

Chopra went on to advocate for the inclusion of both Hardik Pandya and Shivam Dube in India’s T20 World Cup squad, highlighting Dube’s impressive performance in the recent T20I series. Despite suggestions from some quarters to choose one over the other, Chopra urged the Indian team management to consider having both players, citing Dube as a real contender based on his three-match display.

“The way he hit sixes in the first two matches, the power was evident. Some people have even said to leave Hardik and pick Dube. I am saying keep both. Shivam Dube is a real contender based on these three matches. If he does well in the IPL, it will be the icing on the cake,” Chopra added.

While Dube showcased his power-hitting prowess in the series against Afghanistan, Chopra acknowledged that Pandya’s experience and skill set make him a valuable asset. Pandya, currently recovering from an ankle injury sustained during the 2023 ODI World Cup, missed the recent T20I series against Afghanistan.

As India gears up for the T20 World Cup, the selection dilemma surrounding the choice between Dube and Pandya will undoubtedly be a topic of intense discussion among cricket enthusiasts. The Indian team management will have to strike a balance between youth and experience, power-hitting and stability, as they aim for success in the much-awaited tournament scheduled to commence in June in the West Indies and the United States of America.