When it comes to batsmanship across all three formats of cricket, India skipper Virat Kohli is no less than a monster as he recently recorded his 33rd ODI ton and 21st Test ton in the ongoing South Africa tour. However, Pakistan cricket team head coach Mickey Arthur feels that it will be ‘hard’ for the Indian batting wizard to replicate the similar batting feat in Pakistan.
“Kohli is a fantastic player but our team will make it ‘hard’ (for him) to score a century in Pakistan. It has been a great pleasure to watch Kohli scoring against all teams and it is always enjoyable to watch his batting. However, our bowlers will not make it easy for him to score there,” Mickey Arthur said according to The Nation.
“Hopefully, India will come to play in Pakistan,” the South Africa-born coach added.
India and Pakistan have not faced each other in a full bilateral series since 2007 and considering the current hostility in diplomatic ties, the bilateral series seems a distant dream right now.
Playing Pakistan has always been a dilemma for the BCCI. Earlier last year, the cricket board had sought clearance from the Indian government to play a bilateral series with the arch-rivals. Amid all the tussle between both the countries at the LOC, the request was expectedly turned down by the BJP ruled Indian government.
It is pertinent to mention that both the boards had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2014, as per which the arch-rivals should have played six bilateral series between 2015-2023.
“Although there were many talks of India touring Pakistan in the recent times, it never turned out into reality. India will have to tour Pakistan if Virat Kohli has to score an ODI century in all the permanent member countries. My boys will make it tough for Kohli to score that century in Pakistan,” Arthur commented.
It is worth mentioning here that Kohli now boasts 20 One-Day International hundreds while chasing in which India have emerged victorious on 18 occasions. Moreover, the 29-year-old averages a mind-boggling 56.09 after 203 ODIs with 9142 runs. Besides, he is the only batsman on the planet to have an average of over 50 in the Twenty-20 format after 55 games.
The Indian captain also proved his mettle in the three-match Test series against South Africa on some of the most difficult pitches. Kohli scored 286 runs at an average of 47.66. He was the highest run-scorer in the Test series and was the only centurion from either side.