Pakistan Star in Line to Replace Virat Kohli at Surrey for County Championship

Published - 05 Jun 2018, 12:18 PM | Updated - 17 Apr 2024, 11:31 AM

Virat Kohli
Credits: BCCI

Pakistan opener, Azhar Ali is reportedly in line to replace injured Virat Kohli at Surrey County Club for a few matches of the season.

Along with Azhar, his compatriot Asad Shafiq is also tipped to get a county deal from Somerset.

The India skipper had signed a deal with the county outfit to play for them for June. However, a neck injury ended his hopes of getting some preparation ahead of the England tour. Kohli is currently recovering from the neck injury and would undergo a fitness test on June 15 at the National Cricket Academy.

Virat Kohli
Photo Credit: BCCI.

On the other hand, Shafiq is likely to replace Australian Matt Renshaw. The opener was called up for Australia A squad for their tour of India in August and September.

Renshaw has been named in both the one-day and four-day squads. The southpaw was in great form, notching up 305 runs in four County Championship matches. He also scored 140 in five Royal London-One Day Cup games.

According to ESPNCricinfo,  Somerset and Surrey are in talks with the Pakistan batsmen, as they try and replace Renshaw and Kohli, respectively.

As of now, nothing is confirmed, but the outcome is likely to come out within a couple of days. Meanwhile, Pakistan head coach, Mickey Arthur is hopeful the duo gets a chance to play county cricket.

“Our chosen players, we’re hoping to get Azhar and Asad to play some county cricket,” Arthur said. “There is a little bit of interest at the moment, for a short period of time. Because those guys don’t go to these [T20] leagues and stuff. If they were to play county cricket, we’d certainly encourage that.”

Credits: AFP

Both the players did not enjoy good outings in the recently-concluded series against England. Azhar averaged only 16.75 from four innings. On the other hand, Shafiq managed little better with 91 runs from three innings at 30.33 including a half-century.