Kolkata: Perhaps Indian Test captain Virat Kohli has taken James Anderson’s words too seriously. After the English pacer questioned Kohli’s technique, the Delhi guy is seriously contemplating a stint with county cricket before India tours England in 2018.
“If I have chance, I would love to be there. Say a month or a month-and-a-half before the tour. Get used to playing conditions and understand how the wickets behave in that phase of the year. I think these things matter a lot. I have been thinking about and take time out to play there,” Kohli was quoted in the media.
Now, history proves that county cricket tests a cricketer’s skills, especially the ones who are not from England. A series of matches under inclement conditions without hardly any rest means, you have a tough challenge ahead of you.
If we look back, a number of Indian cricketers have been part of county cricket and their experiences have only escalated their level of performances at the international level. Right from the days of the Pataudis to Sunil Gavaskar, BS Bedi, Kapil Dev to Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly, county cricket has immensely benefited Indian cricketers.
And Kohli, who has struggled in English conditions knows the importance of having a go at county cricket. Kohli has the example of Ganguly, who after being discarded from the Indian team, played for Lancashire and earned his place back in the national squad.
Kohli’s case is different though. He is an indispensable part of Indian cricket, yet English conditions have asked him questions and he would be determined to prove his detractors wrong. Some good scores out there means, he will be brimming with confidence. An average of 13.40 in five Tests in England doesn’t vindicate the enormous talent Kohli has. Even his ODI average of 38.54 in 14 innings in England is way behind his overall career average of 52.93 in the 50-over format.
So, one hopes county cricket gets him the confidence he badly needs, and if he can capitalise on it, it would be a decent slap on the faces of those who still have doubts about his credentials.
Anderson, get ready for the battle ahead!