A week ago, pacer Pat Cummins had made a “brave and bold” prediction that India skipper Virat Kohli would not be able to get a single hundred when the Men in Blue visit Australia for a four-Tests series in November this year. “My brave, bold prediction; I’d say I think Virat Kohli is not going to get a hundred and we’re going to knock them off over here,” Cummins had said.
However, now Cummins, in an interview to Cricket Australia, clarified that his words were misinterpreted and he was trying to compliment the Indian captain. “I was surprised by the traction the comments I made about Virat got.”
“I was almost trying to do the opposite to the way they were perceived. I was trying to pay him a huge compliment and say that my big wish list for the summer was he doesn’t score a hundred,” he added.
“He’s obviously so important to the team and is such a gun batsman, so him not scoring runs would go a long way to helping us win. But I certainly didn’t mean to say he’s no good because I couldn’t hold him in higher regard,” he further said.
The 25-year old bowler, in June, spoke to veteran broadcaster Bruce McAvaney in an on-stage interview, where he made the statement. “Bruce McAvaney just asked me what my big prediction was that I’d like to see for the summer. And I just basically said ‘I’d love to see Virat Kohli not make a hundred because he’s a really good player’. ”
“The chances are he’s going to score a hundred against us again sometime and we’ll be doing everything in our power to try and stop that. It was just off the cuff. It was a pretty relaxed interview to say I’d love for him not to score runs, like I’d love any international player to not score runs against us,” he added.
Talking about the reaction from Indian fans over his comments, Cummins said he understands where the anger came from. “Obviously you always get a lot of Virat Kohli and Indian cricket team fans on Twitter having their say, but it’s all good,” he said.
Meanwhile, former Australian pacer Brett Lee has backed Kohli to have a great summer in Australia, saying the 29-year-old Indian batter will get hundreds in the series down under later this year. “Kohli has a lot to prove and he will prove this year why he’s so good,” Lee told foxsports.com.au following his unveiling as a Fox Sports Cricket commentator. “Kohli will have a massive year this year. I think he will get hundreds because I’ve never seen a guy so hungry,” he added.
Apart from the four-Test series, India will also play three T20Is and a three-match ODI series starting November.