Mickey Arthur: Virat Kohli will find it difficult to score a century in Pakistan
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Pakistan cricket head coach Mickey Arthur has challenged Indian captain Virat Kohli to score a century in Pakistan whenever he plays there in the future. Arthur, who is currently holidaying in Australia following Pakistan's series in New Zealand, reportedly said, "Kohli is a fantastic player but our team will make it hard [for him] to score a century there [Pakistan]."
In case you didn't know..
India's number three in limited-overs cricket, Kohli notched up his first ODI century in South Africa recently when in the first ODI between the hosts and India, he hit 112 from 119 balls in Durban. While chasing 270 in Kingsmead, Kohli put on 189 for the third wicket with Ajinkya Rahane to all but confirm India's win, which turned out to be their first victory in an ODI at the ground.
The century completed a unique set for the 29-year-old Kohli, as he now has an ODI hundred in each of the nine countries in which he has played cricket. Before him, only Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya boasted an ODI century in nine different nations.
Before Kohli's knock of 112, his highest on South African soil was only 87*, which he got against South Africa at Port Elizabeth in 2011.
The heart of the matter
Arthur's comments towards Kohli came as a surprise to many. While he accepted that he enjoyed watching Kohli bat, at the same time, he was sure of Pakistan's bowlers posing a big threat to him, particularly on their home grounds.
“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.
It is surprising that Kohli having hit 33 ODI centuries in record time and possessing an average of 45.90 against Pakistan, was on the receiving end of these words from Arthur.
It will thus be interesting to see how Kohli performs if he gets the opportunity to play Pakistan in their own den, though that seems highly unlikely to happen in the near future – in fact, not even the UAE stands a chance of hosting India against Pakistan – with continued political tensions between the two countries.