Virat Kohli: Kapil Dev says India captain should play in England's County Championship


Virat Kohli averaged 13.40 in his five Test matches in England, his lowest average score in any country

India captain Virat Kohli should spend time in the County Championship before this summer’s Test series against England, says former skipper Kapil Dev.

Kohli has a career batting average of 53.40 from 66 Tests, but averaged only 13.40 during India’s last Test series in England in 2014.

Kapil, who won the World Cup as skipper in 1983, feels Kohli must “get runs everywhere” to be the world’s best.

“Practice makes a man perfect. One has to practise those conditions,” he said.

“The bar which we as cricketers set for these people is that you have to be good in all conditions. That’s what we used to say about Allan Border or Vivian Richards or Sunil Gavaskar – they were players to play any part, anywhere, any kind of conditions, they used to perform.

“Virat Kohli, the question mark is in front of him, it’s there. He has to get runs where it is considered to be the toughest conditions in the world.”

The five-Test series between the two countries begins on 1 August at Edgbaston.

Pace bowler Ishant Sharma (Sussex) and batsman Cheteshwar Pujara (Yorkshire) are the only two India players currently signed to play for English counties before the tour begins.

Kapil was India captain when they beat England 2-0 in a three-match contest in 1986, but India have won only one Test series in England since then, in 2007.

The all-rounder spent two seasons playing for Northamptonshire and believes a similar spell for Kohli would benefit the 29-year-old, who is currently ranked second in the International Cricket Council’s Test batting rankings and top in the one-day international format.

“If he can get it and if he can keep on playing there, I think it always helps,” added Kapil, who took 434 wickets and made 5,248 runs in 131 Tests between 1978 and 1994.

“What we’re seeing, with his temperament, I think he’s good enough. It all depends if he gets a good start. He has the ability.

“If he can play a season or two in English county cricket there would be nothing wrong, because if you want to be the best player in the world you have to get runs everywhere.

“With so many players, we are seeing they are outstanding outside India or Pakistan, when they come to the subcontinent, they don’t get runs. Maybe they are playing on a fast, bouncy track and when it comes to a turning track they are not good enough.”

Kohli was rested from India’s current Twenty20 tri-series against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.



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