Virat Kohli scored at 13.40 in the Test series in England in 2014 © AFP
Virat Kohli scored at 13.40 in the Test series in England in 2014 © AFP

Virat Kohli is the best batsman in the world across formats. He is amongst the very best in Test cricket, but England remains one nation unconquered by Kohli. During India’s 1-3 routing in 2014, Kohli averaged 13.40 in 5 Tests. Many consider the seaming conditions to be his Achilles Heel. India will be touring England in August with Kohli as captain. Kapil Dev, who lifted the 1983 World Cup in the same country and won a Test series there in 1986, believes Kohli will only go on to benefit from county stints.

“Practice makes a man perfect. One has to practise those conditions,” Kapil was quoted as saying in a report from Reuters. “The bar which we as cricketers set for these people is that you have to be good in all conditions. “That’s [sic] 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.”

Ravi Shastri: Virat Kohli reminds me of Imran Khan
Ravi Shastri: Virat Kohli reminds me of Imran Khan

Kohli, 29, averages 53.40 from 66 Tests and was the best batsman from either side on the recent South Africa tour. Kapil had spent two seasons with Worcestershire ahead of the Test series win in 1986 (and three seasons for Northamptonshire before and during the World Cup). He believes a similar approach will help Kohli as well.

“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,” added Kapil. “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.”

Ishant Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara have not been picked in the IPL 2018 auctions. They will head to Sussex and Yorkshire respectively to play county cricket.