Virat Kohli might be eyeing a piece of history when India travel to England later this year but his decision to skip the Afghanistan Test in order to prepare earnestly for the tough tour has not gone down well with many. India will host Afghanistan from June 14 which will be the latter’s first-ever Test. However, the India skipper will miss the fixture as he will be in England, playing for Surrey to prepare for the England series.
Kohli has signed up for Surrey and will ply his trade for the entire month of June. But while many feel that it is the perfect way for Kohli to prepare for the tour, some feel that his decision has undermined the importance of Afghanistan Test. One of those is none other than former Australia skipper Michael Clarke. Expressing his surprise over Kohli’s decision, Clarke opined that Test cricket should be preferred ahead of everything.
“I am really surprised. I think a Test match is a Test match and I don’t care who you are playing against; it needs to be number one priority,” Clarke said at an event organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce.
Clarke went on to say that he would like to see Kohli fly back and play the historic Test.
“I still feel Virat can get what he wants in terms of coming and playing some games for Surrey and then I would like to see him fly back and play the Test match,” he said.
“I think there is a bit of a gap in the schedule which will allow him to do that… I have given up every other opportunity to play for whatever franchise or other teams. To represent your country is the most special thing in the world. Whatever team you play against, I think that should be the No 1 priority,” added Clarke.
The batting legend, however, backed Kohli’s idea to play county cricket in order to prepare for the England tour.
“It will be fantastic preparation for him and also shows his determination. It shows not only how hungry he is to perform individually but how much he wants India to have success. Virat’s played enough cricket; he doesn’t need to do that (prepare by going earlier to England). The fact that he is doing that, he deserves a lot of credit for that,” the former cricketer said.
Kohli would be desperate to do well in England this time around. Last time, India had visited England, Kohli had endured a disastrous outing. India 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.