Shivam Dube, the new entry to the Indian team, sprung into action in the second T20I against the West Indies and surprisingly, Virat Kohli was repaid with another honour for promoting the youngster up the order.
Kohli surprised everyone when he sent Dube at number three ahead of him, and the youngster stood tall and took the chance with both hands.
Dube struck a glorious 54 off just 30 deliveries and took the attack to the opposition. However, the highlight of the night emerged against Kieron Pollard, when he struck three magnificent sixes in his over and left the crowds awestruck.
His knock was acknowledged by his teammates as he ended up achieving a unique record. The scintillating southpaw’s maiden T20I fifty has made him only the second Indian to score his first fifty in an international T20.
Before Dube came into the limelight, Robin Uthappa was the only Indian player who was a recipient of such a unique feat, having scored his maiden fifty in international T20 against Pakistan at the T20 World Cup in 2007.
“Really special for me because it is first 50 from my side to the Indian team. But not happy because winning the match is more important for me,” said the batsman at the post-match conference.
Dube’s humble remarks about his performance only displayed his outright intent as a team player and has set him on course to be a regular in the playing XI.
If Dube was setting up milestones of his own, the Indian captain added yet another feather to his cap. Kohli surpassed Rohit Sharma’s record of most runs in T20Is and is now the leading run-scorer in the shortest format of the game.
The 30-year-old was just three runs behind his teammate coming into the game. The Indian opener scored 15 in the game, leaving Kohli just 18 runs short of the milestone. The skipper did it with ease, but was unable to continue his sublime form from the first T20I where he anchored a 200+ run chase with his blistering unbeaten knock of 94.
The final T20I between India and West Indies will be played at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday, i.e. December 11.
Feature image courtesy: AFP/ Arun Shankar