In what he termed a “brave, bold prediction,” Australia paceman Pat Cummins said Virat Kohli, the India captain, will not score a century when India go Down Under later this year.
India will tour Australia in November for a series comprising three Twenty20 Internationals and as many one-day internationals, along with four Test matches.
With Australia weakened by the year-long suspensions of Steve Smith and David Warner, the tour represents India’s best chance of securing their first series win in Australia.
Kohli was India’s best batsman when they last toured Australia in 2014, scoring four centuries in all in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. But Cummins believes that won’t be the case later this year.
“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," he said in Sydney on Tuesday, 11 July, at an event.
In doing so, Cummins channelled Glenn McGrath, who was also a speaker at the event. The former paceman famously called out opposing captains ahead of tours in the 1990s and 200s, and he once again called on the Australian side to put Kohli under fire.
"I want to see Australians put pressure on Kohli and just see how he handles it," said McGrath. “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.
McGrath also advocated targeting opposition captains, saying the great Windies teams of yesteryear did just that. "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,” he said.
“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.”
The first Test between India and Australia will be played on 6 December at Adelaide, with Perth, Melbourne and Sydney hosting the subsequent matches.