Australia speedster Pat Cummins has clarified his recent bold remarks on Virat Kohli, saying that he was actually paying compliment to the Indian captain and his comments had been misinterpreted.
Speaking to veteran broadcaster Bruce McAvaney in an on-stage interview last week, Cummins had said: “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.”
However, Cummins has now reverted back from his previous statement, telling the Cricket Australia website, “I was surprised by the traction the comments I made about Virat Kohli 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’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.
The 25-year-old also stressed on the context of the interview saying, “Bruce McAvaney (the interviewer) 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.”
Cummins’ statement certainly didn’t go down well the Indian fans, as the pacer received a fair bit of flak on social media.
“Obviously you always get a lot of Virat Kohli and Indian cricket team fans on Twitter having their say, but it’s all good. Virat’s 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,” Cummins asserted.
He went on to Virat with the tainted Australia cricketer Steve Smith.
“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,” Cummins concluded.
India's tour of Australia will begin on November 21 wherein they will play 4 Tests, 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is.