Virat Kohli will miss Afghanistan Test to prepare for England tour through a county stint © AFP
Virat Kohli will play for Surrey next month, to prepare for England Tests, and miss the historic India-Afghanistan tie © AFP

BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary today urged critics to understand Virat Kohli‘s intent of doing well in England  Tests rather than taking a dig at him for not playing the landmark one-off Test against Afghanistan. Kohli will be playing for Surrey during the month of June and will miss the historic occasion as India plays host to the war-ravaged nation.

“There was no intention (on Virat’s part) of not to play (against Afghanistan). It is only because of the English challenge which we have to rise through to the satisfaction of the entire cricket fraternity in this country and Virat wants to sustain for the right reasons,” Choudhary told the mediapersons.

The acting secretary reiterated that the reason behind sending a few Test specialists early is to allow them to acclimatise properly before the Test series. ”We have taken this decision to allow Virat as well as some others to give them a fair opportunity of acclimatising themselves in England. Basically, it is not for the shorter format but the longer one. Our focus remains Test cricket and we continue to believe that this is one format which is normally the genesis of cricket in the world and it is something we need to nurse all time,” he added.

When asked why some of the openers were not sent for county stints, selection committee chief MSK Prasad made it clear that it was only Virat, who got an offer unlike others. ”He (Virat) only got the opportunity. I don’t know whether rest of the team really got it, but we would have been more than happy had they got a chance.”