Auckland: India medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar said on Friday that his team was completely focussed ahead of its do-or-die match against New Zealand and confident of reversing the 0-2 deficit in the five-match ODI series. (3rd ODI Preview: Do-or-die situation for India)
"There is no extra-ordinary pressure on us. We are confident of doing well. To win this match, we just need to be focussed on the game. We are not overconfident about winning, just confident enough," he said. (More short deliveries to come: Tim Southee warns India)
"If we can win tomorrow, it will lift us enough to even win three matches in a row and win the series," he added. (Focusing on building partnerships: Kane Williamson)
The visitors lost the first two ODIs -- at Napier by 24 runs and at Hamilton by 15 runs (D/L method) -- to go down 0-2 in the five-match series. New Zealand have batted well in this series so far, with their in-form line-up not giving away many wickets in the middle overs. It has allowed their lower-order batsmen, particularly Corey Anderson, to make a late surge in the death overs. (Ishant Sharma is a kid no more, should've been India's spearhead: Madan Lal)
"The middle overs are not a weakness. New Zealand have just played better cricket than us. We have just been focussing on keeping the run-rate down and we haven't been able to get wickets. We need to keep working on that," said Bhuvneshwar. (Control the game in the mind: Dhoni tells Raina)
Asked to pick their opposition's most dangerous batsman, he replied, "There is no one name that we are concentrating on. Their whole batting line-up is in form at the moment. Jesse Ryder, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor... they are all in good touch. The aim is to get them all out, and not just focus on one player. (Dhoni hints at changing strategy for next ODI)
"Obviously we do need to get Anderson early. He has given them good scores in the last two matches, so we need to get him out cheaply to keep the scoring down," he added.
It has been a whirlwind first year in international cricket for Bhuvneshwar, with varied experiences at home and then on overseas tours, especially in England, South Africa and New Zealand. The medium-pacer acknowledged his learning experience. (Dhoni needs to be flexible with his selection: Sunil Gavaskar)
"As a fast bowler, it is a good experience for me because the ball does a bit here. There is not much swing, but quite a bit of bounce. All of this helps me. Also, I expected the conditions to be more windy. Since the conditions are suitable for bowlers, I keep it simple or try to. There is no point making things complicated," he said. (Virat Kohli's credentials as a run-chase specialist on the rise)
Asked which area of his bowling he has worked hard on, Bhuvneshwar said, "I have tried to improve on my death bowling. Before the Australia series in India, we had a two-month break and I focussed on that aspect. I have tried to bowl yorkers in the end overs. If you bowl well early in the innings, it is also important to finish well."