Manchester: Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was on Sunday ruled out of India’s, at least, next two World Cup games after developing a niggle in his left hamstring during the clash against Pakistan.
The paceman walked off the field without completing his third over and India skipper Virat Kohli confirmed that he will be replaced by Mohammed Shami in the following games. “Slight niggle for Bhuvi, he slipped on one of the footmarks. He’s out for two, maybe three games, but he should come back for us at some stage during this tournament. He is very important for us,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony after India thumped Pakistan by 89 runs.
Kohli added that “Shami was raring to go”. India’s next three games are against Afghanistan (22 June), West Indies (27 June) and England (30 June). It is second big jolt for India as opener Shikhar Dhawan has already been ruled out of a few games due to a thumb injury, sustain during the match against Australia. The India captain was effusive in his praise for team’s top-order batsmen, especially Rohit Sharma, who struck his second hundred of the tourmament “Rohit’s knock was outstanding again.
KL helped Rohit, who showed why he’s such a good ODI player again today. It was a team effort to get to 336.” Kohli was also relieved that Kuldeep Yadav was back in form. “Kuldeep Yadav was brilliant. Babar and Fakhar were trying to play him out, but I wanted him to have a longer spell. The ball to dismiss Babar was an outstanding delivery. I think today was the best he bowled at this World Cup.”
Asked that India-Pakistan games have not lived up to hype of late, Kohli said they do not fall to the trap of playing to hype. “I think they outplayed us in the Champions Trophy final (in 2017) but if you focus on this game as too emotional, things can go wrong. We never approach them from that perspective. We are professional about it and the result is what matters.”