In an on-stage interview at an event in June, 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,” referring to the Indian team’s tour of Australia which begins in November.
However, Cummins has now clarified, 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.”
The 25-year old also threw light 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 had got a fair bit of flak on social media for the comments he made, especially from Indian cricket fans, but he brushed them off before praising Kohli for his passion.
“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 also compared Kohli’s temperament to currently banned cricketer and former Australian captain Steve Smith saying, “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 (Kohli and Smith) 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.”
India’s tour of Australia will begin on November 21 with the first of the three T20Is, before the teams play four Tests and three ODIs against each other.
First Published: July 19, 2018, 2:07 PM IST