Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins has made the audacious prediction that Indian maestro Virat Kohli won’t score a Test century when his side tours this summer.
Even Cummins acknowledged it was a “brave, bold” call given Kohli plundered four hundreds in four Tests during India’s last outing on Australian shores in 2014/15.
Speaking at a Channel Seven function on Tuesday morning at the SCG, Cummins was asked by veteran broadcaster Bruce McAvaney for a cricket prediction ahead of a summer which will see Australia play India in four Tests.
“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 said.
It’s a big call from Cummins, as
Kohli averages 53.4 in Test cricket but in Australia that figure climbs to 62, which is quite remarkable given some of the game’s best batsmen have struggled in Australian conditions.
Meanwhile, Australian fast bowling legend Glenn McGrath has urged the likes of Cummins, Starc and Hazlewood to go at Kohli, saying that if they can rattle the side’s leader a series win can come about far easier.
“I want to see Australians put pressure on Kohli and just see how he handles it,” McGrath said. “It’s going to be a good, hard, tough series. Kohli has got a bit of an aggressive attitude but showed last time he was out here he’s not going to take a backward step. It’s going to be an interesting summer.
“The Windies of the late 70s, early 80s were an incredible team and they used to target the captain of the opposition team and get on top of him and have a big impact. I tried to bring that in by targeting players when I played. If you get on top of them, the No.1 player and their captain, it makes the job so much easier.
“If they can get on top of Kohli I think it can have a big effect on the game.”
McGrath was renowned for targeting a particular opposition player and never shied away from predicting a whitewash, which is exactly what he is tipping for a four-Test series that begins on December 6 at Adelaide Oval.
“India are not a bad team, they’ve got a decent bowling attack, they’ve got some good spinners as well,” McGrath said. “With Steve Smith and Dave Warner not there it leaves a little bit of a gap. Fingers crossed it can be a good solid series with Australia just getting across the line 4-0.”
Australia won the last series between the sides on home turf 2-0 and posted scores more than 500 in every match. Pitches were seriously flat in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney and McGrath says he would like to see a bit of character return to tracks across the country.
“I’m not a fan of doctoring pitches but I think we should produce the best cricket wicket we can for Australian conditions,” McGrath said. “That’s the problem; the pitches are pretty flat. The last time they were here they were very flat.
“At the start of my career every pitch was different. It taught you to bowl in different conditions. The drop-in pitches are just too good, they don’t change in five days.”