In a Trump-like turnaround, Pat Cummins has pivoted on his bold prediction that Virat Kohli would go ton-less down under.
Cummins boldly predicted on Australia’s Channel 7 that ‘Virat Kohli’s not going to get a hundred and we’re going to knock ’em off over here,’ he said on live TV in front of a studio audience.
The fast bowler moved quickly to clarify his comments about Kohli after his words made headlines in world media. In an attempt to downplay his hard-hitting prediction, Cummins followed up with a statement on radio in which he said he had actually been trying to pay Kohli a huge compliment.
‘My big wish list for the summer was that he didn’t score a hundred because he’s obviously so important for their team and such a gun batsman. I certainly didn’t mean to say that he’s no good because I couldn’t hold him in higher regard,’ Cummins said on radio in Australia, his voice nervous like a schoolboy with a secret as he came close to following Donald Trump’s example, having backtracked so rapidly.
Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson will be turning over in their old age home when they hear Cummins’ meek capitulation. ‘Make the big call, mate, take the flack and go out and do the business on the field!’ would surely be their advice to the young paceman!
Ironically, Kohli has become Cummins’ Test match bunny, as the paceman has gotten him out every time he’s bowled to him in five-day cricket. At present, that amounts to just one innings, but that’s still a 100% record. Cummins had Kohli caught in the slips for six in their only Test encounter in 2017.
Cummins’ overall Test record is decent but not spectacular, having taken 66 wickets in his 14 Tests to date.
Speculation around the Cummins camp is that the Aussie paceman had actually been referring to the new waxwork sculpture of Kohli that lives in Madame Tussauds’ Museum in London, as that Kohli would be hard-pressed to take 100 runs off the Aussies.
Officials from Cricket South Africa were spotted visiting Kohli’s waxwork earlier this week, but when SA Cricket magazine asked if he had been headhunted to become South Africa’s new batting coach, Kohli’s waxwork declined to comment.
Photo: Sushil Kumar/ Hindustan Times via Getty Images