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Cummins makes 'brave, bold' Kohli prediction
Australian quick calls out India's captain ahead of four-Test series this summer
10 July 2018, 06:49 PM AEST
Fast bowler Pat Cummins has made what he himself labelled a "brave, bold prediction" - that Indian superstar Virat Kohli won't score a century in Australia this summer.
Kohli will resume his fiery rivalry with Australia this summer when India head Down Under for a four-Test Border-Gavaskar series, as well as three ODIs and three T20s.
Given the Australians will be without banned batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner, the summer looms as India's best chance to record their maiden Test series win on Australian soil having fallen short on 11 previous attempts.
Speaking in Sydney on Tuesday at a Channel 7 function where the broadcaster's new commentator Glenn McGrath was among the speakers, Cummins channelled the former Test quick in targeting the opposing captain ahead of the summer.
"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.
Kohli, who given Smith is suspended is the ICC's top-ranked Test batsman currently playing, averages more than 53 in Tests, an average that jumps to 62 from eight Tests in Australia.
The right-hander scored his maiden Test century in Adelaide in 2012 and then followed up with a record-breaking series four years ago that included two more hundreds in Adelaide and scores of 169 at the MCG and 147 in Sydney.
But the skipper had a torrid time with the bat when the two teams met in India last year, scoring just 46 runs in three Tests. Cummins dismissed Kohli for six in his only innings in the third Test in Ranchi.
McGrath, the legendary fast bowler of the 1990s and 2000s, famously made a habit of publicly calling out the opposing captain and predicting a whitewash for Australia before each campaign.
Now 48, McGrath repeated this today with a prediction of 4-0 to Australia and he also called on the home side to put Kohli under pressure to see how the skipper and his players react under fire.
"I want to see Australians put pressure on Kohli and just see how he handles it," said McGrath, who will join former teammates Ricky Ponting, Michael Slater and Damien Fleming in Seven's commentary team this summer.
"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.
"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."
This summer will be India's 12th Test tour of Australia since their first in 1947. Despite drawing series in 1981, 1985 and 2003, they are yet to taste a series win and have won just five out of 44 Tests in total.
The first of four Tests starts in Adelaide on December 6 before the series moves to Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.