Virat Kohli will be eager to prove his mettle in England Image: AFP
Virat Kohli has a point to prove in the upcoming England tour starting in August, and the India captain may opt out of India's single Test against Afghanistan on June 14 in order to prepare for the big test. Kohli has decided to opt for a short county stint in England after his Indian Premier League (IPL) commitment with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to prepare himself for the English conditions. Another Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara is also expected to follow in his captain's footsteps to keep himself conditioned for the five-Test series against the Three Lions which gets underway from August 1.
Kohli, considered as one of the best batsmen in the world currently, has proved his mettle with the willow irrespective of venue and opposition but the Indian juggernaut's record on English soil has been less than complimentary to his legacy. The 29-year-old had a torrid time in his only tour to England back in 2014 and averaged only 13.4 in the 10 innings he played there and had serious trouble with deliveries pitched just outside the off stump. And the Indian skipper will undoubtedly be keen to rectify that.
"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 BCCI official told a media agency. VVS Laxman, who is part of the three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) of the BCCI, also later tweeted out confirming the news.
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
While it is still not confirmed which county Kohli will represent, Surrey seems to be the favourites to secure his services. He will reportedly leave for England after completing his assignment for RCB in IPL 2018.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is reportedly putting in a lot of effort for the upcoming Test series and wants more and more players to get accustomed to English conditions. Pujara is expected to turn up for Yorkshire, while Ishant Sharma will be playing for Durham.
It is also learnt that some of the senior India players will also turn up for India A in England in their bid to prepare for the tour. The likes of Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane are also expected to turn up their preparations.