Bhuvneshwar Kumar may have bothered Pakistan more than once in the recent past, but after his man-of-the-match performance at Edgbaston on Saturday, he denied it had anything to do with the opponent.

“It’s not that I love to bowl against Pakistan. My aim is the same against all teams. I’ve taken more wickets against them and it’s just coincidence,” he said.

The UP bowler returned figures of two for 19 from his eight overs and said he had been looking forward to bowling in England.

“I’d always wondered how it would feel to play in England. I’m enjoying bowling here because the ball is swinging and I can take early wickets to put the opposition under pressure. It’s true that the ball is not swinging as much as we expected but there is good bounce on the wickets here,” he said.

Bhuvneshwar denied India was now the favourite to win the Champions Trophy.

“If any team does well, they’re considered favourites. We’re now in the semifinals and we just want to maintain the same momentum,” he said.

Meanwhile, a besieged Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore struck a defiant note.

“We’re almost the same team that beat India in India. One series doesn’t make the team bad. You do have some bad games and unfortunately for us we strung three in a row… Let’s not be emotional about this. Games are won and lost; series are won and lost,” he said.

Whatmore denied that the batting failures were a trend. “It’s a trend in this series only. When we played in India it was a pretty decent trend the other way…We were one ODI victory from having a good series here, but that’s the way it goes.

“It’s easy to sit there and be critical but from our point of view we’re looking to be objective and to improve things,” Whatmore said.


The blossoming of Bhuvneshwar June 18, 2013

Cheer for India on a gloomy dayJune 15, 2013