Manchester: India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been ruled out of at least the next two World Cup games after picking up a hamstring niggle 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 (in his left hamstring) 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 here on Sunday.
Kohli added that “Shami was raring to go”.
India’s next three games are against Afghanistan (June 22), West Indies (June 27) and England (June 30).
It is another big jolt for India after opener Shikhar Dhawan suffered a thumb injury while batting against Australia, ruling him out for at least couple of weeks.
The India captain was effusive in his praise for team’s top-order batsmen, especially Rohit Sharma, who struck his second hundred of the tournament
“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: “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.