Virat Kohli to play county cricket : England

Virat Kohli

It is a development everyone concerned with Indian cricket may either have hoped for or expected.

Pujara and Ishant, who were unsold at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, will be playing for Yorkshire and Sussex respectively.

Kohli had a nightmare test series during India's tour of England, 2014, where he failed to score even one single half-century.

Surrey had asked the BCCI about Kohli's availability as an overseas player a year ago, but the Indian board had said that he would not be available because of the Afghanistan Test.

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Alec Stewart, the county's director of cricket, insists this is not the case but should the timings work and the Indian board give it the all clear then the draw of signing the sport's biggest name is undeniable. It is also a likely a few other Test regulars may also follow suit - an indication to that effect was given by Shikhar Dhawan yesterday. Kohli had dropped hints of playing in the county cricket after the Chennai Test against England in 2016.

The skipper has long set his sights on England, aiming to put the record straight, batting wise. The right-handed batsman had mustered a meagre 134 runs in five Tests in the country at a dismal average of 13.40. Arguably, he is the best in the world now.

Indian legend Kapil Dev had suggested earlier this month that Kohli should have a county stint to overcome his woes in England.

Scheduled between June 14 and 18 in Bengaluru, the Afghanistan cricket team will play their first Test match ever against India at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

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"That's why we are planning on a long-term scale, on a macro scale, to make sure that the team is well acclimatised before the Tests start (in England)".

It was evident how a lack of preparation hurt India's chances in South Africa and one would certainly hope that the BCCI and the players have learnt a lesson from that experience.

Notably, India will start their tour of England with a limited-overs leg, consisting three T20Is and as many ODIs.

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