February 7, 2018
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has hailed Virat Kohli for his record-breaking spree in international cricket but at the same time he also believes that it will be “hard” for the India captain to score a century in Pakistan.
“Kohli is a fantastic player but our team will make it hard (for him) to score a century there (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,” Arthur said.
India and Pakistan have not played a full bilateral series since 2007-08. However, Pakistan toured India for a short limited-overs series in 2012-13.
The two cricketing giants only meet at the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Asian Cricket Council (ACC) organised tournament with the arch-rivals last faced-off at the final of the Champions Trophy in England in June last year.
Kohli has played Pakistan in 12 one day internationals and maintains a healthy average of 45.90 scoring 459 with the help of two centuries and a fifty. In Twenty20 Internationals, Kohli has played Pakistan in six matches and has a best of 78 not out. He has scored 254 runs with the help two half-centuries averaging 84.66.
However, he is yet to play a Test against Pakistan. In fact, no member of India’s current Test team, barring Parthiv Patel, has played in Pakistan or against them in whites.
MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Gautam Gamhir and Dinesh Karthik are only other active players to have played in or against Pakistan in Test cricket.
Arthur, however, is hopeful of India playing in Pakistan one day.
“Hopefully, India will come to play in Pakistan,” he said.
Kohli, last week, became only the second captain to score hundreds in Tests and ODIs vs South Africa in their den on the same tour.
Kohli smashed 112 as he scored his first ODI hundred in South Africa during the first of the six-match ODI series in Kingsmead, Durban last week. His previous best was 87, which he had managed back in 2011.
It was also his 33rd ODI hundred and with that, Kohli now has hundreds in all the nine Test playing nations he has played in.
The 29-year-old maintained his top form in the second match as well and scored and unbeaten 46 to give India 2-0 lead in the series. The third ODI between India and South Africa will be played on Wednesday.
Kohli finished as the highest run-scorer in the three-Test series between South Africa and India. In the ODI series between the two teams, Kohli once again finds himself on top after the first two ODIs.