India new-boy Shivam Dube thanked AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli for their help during his time at Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.
An all-rounder by trade, Dube was a big-money buy from the Kohli-led franchise. The Mumbaikar was bought by RCB for a whopping Rs 5 crore after a stiff battle with Mumbai Indians but he played only four matches for the team as they finished last in the table.
But, more than the four matches, the experience gathered by 26-year-old from icons of the game, mattered to him the most.
"The RCB stint was a huge learning curve for me. I learnt a lot there. You get to meet a number of players – international and domestic. You not just share the dressing room (with international players), you share your thoughts and knowledge as well. Those two months at RCB were very precious for me," Dube told TimesofIndia.com.
"The knowledge and learning I carried into the Vijay Hazare Trophy and India A teams (against West Indies and South Africa) helped me perform really well there," the all-rounder said.
The hard-hitting all-rounder also singled out De Villiers and Kohli for asking him to back himself and don't fret over the failiures.
"It was really a great experience. Sharing the dressing room with legends like Virat bhaiya and ABD was a big thing for me. De Villiers has helped me a lot. He always kept me calm and said ‘Keep smiling, your time will come’. He has helped me a lot during net sessions and gave a lot of batting tips. He has told me about different techniques and how to play fearlessly," the 26-year-old said.
"I want to give credit to Virat bhaiya. He is always available for youngsters and juniors. I once asked him during a net session ‘Bhaiya, What do you think about my game? How can I be a better player?' He told me 'The best part is that you are an all-rounder. Balance both skills (batting and bowling). You can be a match-winner. You can win matches for the team with both bat and ball," Dube explained.
"Both Virat bhaia and ABD have taught me to play fearless cricket," a confident Dube said.
Dube, however, didn't have a great IPL 2019 and could only manage 40 runs from 4 innings at an average of 13.33 but he believes that he can make a difference in the national side with his attacking batting.
"Unfortunately, I couldn’t do much at RCB, but I am 100 perfect sure I will do well for India. My batting style is always the same and I go in with the same mindset. I don’t experiment with anything. I will bat the same way for India, the way I have been batting in domestic cricket," the 26 year old said.