Virat Kohli has decided to skip the Test match against Afghanistan to play County Cricket in England, in order to prepare for India’s tour of England. Kohli is, arguably, the best batter in the world across all three formats of the game but his Test record on English soil is very poor.
So, to make sure that he is fully prepared for the tour, the Indian captain has signed a month long deal with Surrey County. Kohli will be playing for Surrey for the entire month of June and he will also miss the two T20 Internationals against Ireland in Dublin at the end of that month.
It is almost certain that Ajinkya Rahane will lead India in the Test against Afghanistan and Rohit Sharma will be the leader of the team in limited overs fixtures against Ireland.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma are also playing County Cricket but a BCCI official told Press Trust of India (PTI) that both of them will be in the squad for the Test match against Afghanistan.
“There was a bit of wrong communication in some sections of media. Pujara was always going to play the Test match against Afghanistan. Ditto for Ishant Sharma, who doesn’t have a game for Sussex after his next match against Kent from May 11-14. Both are not playing any Royal London Cup matches during that phase,” the BCCI official said.
Now, as far as Virat Kohli’s replacement is concerned, Delhi Daredevils’ skipper Shreyas Iyer, who has impressed one and all with his outstanding display of batting, is set to replace the Indian captain in the Test against Afghanistan.
“We have like for like replacements. For Virat Kohli, it has been Shreyas Iyer. For Jadeja, it’s Axar Patel, for Hardik Pandya, it is Vijay Shankar. So you cannot miss the pattern,” a selection committee member was quoted as saying by Zeenews.india.com.
This will be a huge opportunity for young Iyer who has been in outstanding form in the Indian Premier League. The young batsman has been a good performer at the domestic level too and he would be eager to make the most out of this opportunity.