IPL 2024: Shivam Dube no longer ducks and defends against short ball, thanks to Dhoni

Chennai Super Kings batting coach Michael Hussey is in awe of Shivam Dube for transforming into a batter who no longer ducks or defends when faced with the short ball, an improvement that has been monitored personally by former captain and team talisman Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The 30-year-old Dube was the top-scorer for CSK on Tuesday, striking a 23-ball 51 that included two fours and five sixes at a strike rate of 221.74. The side won by 63 runs against Gujarat Titans.

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“Got to give a lot of credit to Dube for working tirelessly against the short ball, an area he needed to improve on. Hats off to him, and he is playing with confidence now. He is also dangerous against the spin. As the teams bowled short balls at him a few years ago, he would only duck and defend. Now, not only he can play the short ones, but he is also able to find boundaries. So, that’s a testament to the work that he has put in and has given it back to the bowlers, forcing them to try something new. It will benefit him in the IPL, and also if he gets a chance to play for his country, it will do him a lot of good,” said Hussey.

Dube’s improvement has a lot to do with Dhoni personally working with the beefy Mumbai man, his skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad revealed after the match.

Early in his career, the short ball had become his shortcoming but this season Dube has managed it well.

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“Just confidence. When he came here, the management worked with him personally, Mahi bhai [Dhoni] worked with him personally. He knows what role he is playing and which bowler to take on. A big plus for us,” Gaikwad praised his big-hitting game-changer.

Dube also spoke about the freedom that the CSK leadership has given him and that he has worked hard to remain prepared for the short balls, especially now that two bouncers are allowed per over.

“This franchise (CSK) is something different from all others. They are giving me the freedom. They want me to do better and I also want to win some matches,” Dube said after winning the ‘Player of the Match’ award.

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