Former England captain Bob Willis feels letting Virat Kohli play county cricket ahead of England tour is “nonsense”, and wants the Indian captain to “suffer” when he travels to England later this year.
Kohli's stats in England remain a blot on his near-perfect career. The 29-year old batsman had failed to score a single half-century in five Tests on the tour of England in 2014.
The Indian captain is expected to play at Surrey. Among the other India Test regulars, batsman Cheteshwar Pujara and fast bowler Ishant Sharma have already signed contracts with Yorkshire and Durham, respectively. Ajinkya Rahane and Murali Vijay are also expected to feature for India A on a tour of the UK before the senior team's Test series in August.
“I did not do well here (in 2014),” Kohli said recently. “I was not able to contribute to the team and I want to succeed, although not to prove a point. It motivates me further to come back and do better. For me, it is a game of cricket. From then to now, I have shown I am strong mentally.”
“England brings a lot of challenges for a batsman and I want to overcome them personally for my satisfaction at the end of my career. From that point of view, county stint is exciting for me.”
“I would love to be there a month or month and a half beforehand getting used to playing in the conditions, understand what the wickets play like in that phase of the year.”
– Virat Kohli
India is slated to play three T20 matches, followed by three ODIs ahead of the five-match Test series in England. India's tour of England starts on July 3.
Sachin Tendulkar: Yorkshire (1992)
Rahul Dravid: Kent (2000)
Saurav Ganguly: Lancashire (2000)
VVS Laxman: Lancashire (2007, 2009)
Farokh Engineer: Lancashire (1968 to 1976)
Bishan Singh Bedi: Northamptonshire (1972–1977)
Dilip Doshi: Nottinghamshire (1973–1978) and Warwickshire (1980–1981)
Ravi Shastri: Glamorgan (1987–1991)
Kapil Dev: Northamptonshire (1981–1983) and Worcestershire (1984–1985)