Even though his batting abilities are second to none in today’s day and age, Virat Kohli has decided to go the extra yard to prepare for the upcoming England tour after the IPL. The Indian captain has opted for a short county stint after the IPL to help prepare for the Test series which begins on August 1, the Times of India have reported.
Kohli, who will turn out for Surrey in June and play his home games at the historic Kia Oval in London will be the first Indian to join their roster. Surrey are listed to play three four day games in June against the likes of Hampshire, Somerset and Yorkshire, all of which Kohli is expected to play.
"Virat Kohli will be playing for the top English County side Surrey in the month of June. The BCCI has allowed him to fully focus on the England Test series along with Cheteshwar Pujara (Yorkshire), Ravichandran Ashwin (Warwickshire) and Ishant Sharma (Sussex). Virat will miss the Test match against Afghanistan in Bangalore from June 14-18," COA chief Vinod Rai was quoted as saying by PTI.
"The decision has been taken in consultation with the players as we felt after the South Africa series, our Test team needs more time to acclimatise before the England Test series. The BCCI were in talks with the various counties as we wanted our main players to get county exposure," Rai added.
Virat Kohli 's decision to play county cricket before the England series shows his drive and commitment to achieve excellence. I am sure not only him,but Team India will do exceedingly well in the England series. Best wishes!— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) March 24, 2018
The Indian captain has previously found batting in English conditions quite tough. He has played five Test matches with a total return of 134 runs at rather dismal average of 13.40. Rectifying that record along with making a mark as the Indian captain will be top priority for the Royal Challengers Bangalore captain.
Alongside Kohli, teammate Cheteshwar Pujara is also expected to extend his stint with Yorkshire at the same time of the year. Such a move could result in Kohli and Pujara coming up against each other as Surrey are scheduled to play Yorkshire in June.
India’s tour to England which begins on August 1st will see the sides take on each other in five Test matches, followed by three ODIs and three T20 internationals.