'I'm here to do well for my country'
Young all-rounder Shivam Dube says he is not aiming to replace Hardik Pandya in India's T20 squad but is certainly looking to make the most of the opportunities that are coming his way.
Pandya has been out of the team for more than a month because of a back injury that needed a surgery in England. He is currently undergoing rehabilitation and that has paved the way for Shivam to make the team and he is now gearing up for the upcoming limited-overs series against the West Indies. It starts with the first T20 International, in Hyderabad, on Friday.
The lanky all-rounder from Mumbai has so far played three T20 Internationals, all against Bangladesh, registering best figures of 3 for 30.
Asked whether he is looking to oust Hardik from the team, Shivam said: "I don't think it's an opportunity to replace Hardik but I think I have got a chance and I will try to do well for my country. I have got a job for my country and I will try to do that better."
Primarily a bowling all-rounder, who can hit big shots, Shivam will be aiming to assert himself more in the three T20 Internationals against the West Indies.
In the three matches he has played so far, Shivam hasn't done anything remarkable, except for that three-wicket burst against Bangladesh, but the lanky all-rounder said he enjoys the support of skipper Virat Kohli and the team management.
"Everyone is supporting me. The support from captain and the team management was really good for me. They gave me a lot of confidence. So, I feel really happy and relaxed in the dressing room," he said.
Insisting that fitness is key to success for an all-rounder, Shivam said he is confident about his bowling skills.
"It's always difficult being an all-rounder. Most important for me is to maintain my fitness levels because as an all-rounder, you need to both bat and bowl. So, maintaining fitness is really a difficult job," he said.
"I am very confident of my bowling. In T20 games, every bowler gets a bad as well as a good game. So, I try to prepare myself in very good situations and I feel that I can be a proper bowler who can bowl four overs. I have done that job," he added.
Shivam rated the West Indies as a good T20 side but said he is confident of India pocketing the series easily.
"They (West Indies) have got a good T20 side but we have prepared very nicely. I think India is the best team in world cricket and we will win the series," he said.