Shivam Dube
Shivam Dube (PTI Photo)

Shivam Dube was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for a hefty price at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction in December which was evidence enough of how highly the Mumbai cricketer is rated.

RCB backroom staff is busy fine-tuning their plans as they are set to meet defending champions Chennai Super Kings in the IPL 2019 opener on Saturday. One of their strategies is to thrust Dube into the role of a finisher for which he is prepared.

“I have got tips from Ashish [Nehra] bhai and Gary [Kirsten] sir like I am going to bat at number six or number seven,” Dube said on Wednesday. “They are thinking about me as a finisher in the team. We can analyse that while practicing and I will be prepared for that role. It’s going to be a good challenge for me. Playing in the middle order as a finisher is my job. I’ll give it 100%. It’s going to be challenging and more learning for me too. I’ll do what the team requires. The team’s requirement is more than my own.”

Dube’s six-hitting abilities combined with his seam bowling make him an invaluable commodity and RCB will be banking on him to justify the price tag of INR 5 crore they forked out to secure his services.

However, the allrounder isn’t worried about the pressure of the big money. “I’m not thinking about the 5 crore. I’m just here to play cricket. I didn’t expect it, but I was hoping to be selected at the auction because I had performed well in first-class cricket. So some expectation was there but I didn’t think it would be this much,” Dube said.

The 25-year-old said playing for India and in the IPL has been his dream and is looking forward to realising one of them. “It was very nice to get selected, especially by RCB. RCB is one of the best teams I feel. And playing under Virat [Kohli] bhai is something different. I am a bit nervous, but very excited about the tournament. Every player has a dream of playing for India and playing in the IPL. One of the dream is going to come true and it will be good,” he said.