- Indian captain Virat Kohli will play in the English county season this summer to prepare for the England tour
- Virat Kohli’s county cricket stint will most likely be with Surrey
- Kohli is likely to miss the home Test against Afghanistan to accommodate his maiden county outing
Indian captain Virat Kohli has decided to make his maiden foray into English county circuit in a bid to prepare himself fully for India’s upcoming tour of England in July and August. While it is yet to be ascertained as to which team he will represent, Virat Kohli’s county cricket stint is likely to be with Surrey and could miss the only test match vs Afghanistan which is to be played in June 2018.
“Virat will be playing for a division one county side for sure. I wouldn’t like to add anything more to it. There were talks with Surrey and Essex,” a senior Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official told PTI on Saturday (March 24).
Virat Kohli’s Surrey outing comes at the cost of missing home Test against Afghanistan
It is understood that besides the upcoming season of Indian Premier League (IPL) where Kohli will captain the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kohli firmly has his eyes set on the five-Test series against England and is ready to miss the one-off Test against Afghanistan starting 14 June. The Bangalore Test has been scheduled at a time when Virat Kohli’s county cricket stint will be in progress this summer.
The batting stalwart is expected to leave for England immediately after the end of IPL 2018.
Kohli’s English struggles are well-documented
With just 134 runs in five Test matches at a dismal average of 13.40, Virat Kohli, who has recorded 21 Test hundreds in his career, had a particularly poor tour of England in 2014 and failed to get even a single half-century during the series. He was found vulnerable outside the off-stump and Stuart Broad and James Anderson troubled him a lot.
Virat Kohli’s Surrey stint has been planned keeping this particular fact in mind and to get him acclimatized to the tough English terrain ahead of the crucial tour.
Pujara and co. will also head to England early
The BCCI is putting in a lot of effort for the upcoming Test series and wants more and more players to get accustomed to English conditions. Accordingly, Cheteshwar Pujara will be turning up for Yorkshire while Ishant Sharma will be playing for Durham. It is also learned that some of the other senior players like Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane will also turn up for India A in England in a bid to prepare for the tour.
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