IPL 2018: It's Great Virat Kohli is Going to be Playing County Cricket - Chris Woakes

Published - 12 May 2018, 01:53 PM | Updated - 10 Jan 2019, 01:36 AM

Chris Woakes
Chris Woakes (Credits: Twitter)

There is no denying the fact that Virat Kohli‘s decision to play county cricket ahead of England tour has divided the English cricket fraternity into two halves.

While one half has hailed the decision, saying Kohli’s arrival would boost the reputation of county cricket, the other half is critical of it.

Before Kohli signed up for Surrey, former England paceman, Bob Willis had slammed the possibility of Kohli playing county cricket.

“I can’t stand overseas players in county cricket,” he had told Sky Sports.

“The only way to improve our Test team is to have as many England-qualified players playing in the County Championship as possible.  Instead, they’re going to pay Kohli, presumably, five figures a match so he can hone his skills in English conditions before a Test series. It’s a nonsense,” he had added.

But unlike some of his compatriots, English all-rounder Chris Woakes believes Kohli playing for Surrey will raise the standard of English county cricket.

“It’s great he is going to be playing in England for Surrey. That will only make the competition stronger,” said the Royal Challengers Bangalore star ahead of the game against the Delhi Daredevils.

Credits: BCCI

“Getting guys to play against world-class players like Virat is only good for the county game,” he added.

The 29-year old further expressed his delight over sharing the dressing room with Kohli, arguably the best batsman in the world right now.

“Having to share a dressing room with him has been a great experience,” said Woakes.

“He is passionate about playing cricket for RCB and India as well. Obviously, we expect some good challenges ahead against him this summer back in England.”

India will play five Tests, three one-day internationals and three T20s against England. Kohli will be desperate to turn things around this time.

The India skipper has already proved his mettle in Australia and South Africa, and a similar performance in England will almost seal his status as the best batsman in the world.

Kohli had endured a nightmare show when India toured England four years ago. The MS Dhoni-led side had lost the series 3-1, and Kohli was one of the worst performers. He averaged just 13.40 in ten innings with a top score of 39. The 29-year old was dismissed for single-digit scores on six occasions in the series.

Credits: Getty

Kohli will play for Surrey for the whole month of June.

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Indian National Cricket Team Virat Kohli