Sydney: Ahead of India’s tour Down Under later this year, Australian quick Pat Cummins has praised skipper Virat Kohli as a “really passionate” player while conceding that his bowling attack will target the “prized” wicket of the right-hander.
Cummins recently found himself in the middle of a storm when he was widely quoted as saying: “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”.
Clarifying his comments, the pacer said his comments were misunderstood as he just wished that the Indian did not score a century during India’s tour, that comprises three Twenty20 Internationals, four Tests and three One-day Internationals, starting with the first T20I on November 21.
“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,” Cummins told cricket.com.au.
“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 added.
Cummins stressed that his team will give its cent percent to stop the Indian captain from registering three-figure mark.
“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 clarified.
Cummins further went on to compare the 29-year-old Kohli with banned former Aussie skipper Steve Smith, saying: “Kohli is a really passionate player and I’m sure he doesn’t need any extra motivation to go out there and put everything into what he does.”
“He’s similar to Steve Smith for us, he really gets himself into the contest and tries to find a way to fire up the bowlers. They seem to use that as a way to get the best out of themselves and I think that feeds off into the other players in the team as well.
“The captain and the best batsman is always the prized wicket and I’m sure it won’t be any different this summer,” he added.