India skipper Virat Kohli    AFP
India skipper Virat Kohli AFP

India captain Virat Kohli is keeping all options open with regards to his preparation for the England tour and could well be seen playing India A’s four-day ‘Test’ against England Lions at Worcester, if situation demands. While there was some confusion with the dates of India’s two T20 games against Ireland (June 27 and 29) clashing with Kohli’s last County game for Surrey against Yorkshire at Scarborough (June 25 to 28), it is learnt that the skipper wants to keep all options open.

While there are reports that Kohli might complete his County commitments and then take a five-hour journey from Scarborough to Dublin to play the second T20I, there is a possibility that he might skip the Yorkshire game and play both the games against Ireland.

“The situation is pretty fluid right now. There is an arrangement with Surrey which allows Virat to honour his national commitment. So if he gets sufficient match time in the first two games, we might see him skipping the Yorkshire match and play both T20Is. But then there is no guarantee of English weather,” a senior BCCI office-bearer told PTI on condition of anonymity.

“If weather plays spoilsport in the first two games (Hampshire and Somerset), then obviously, he will play against Yorkshire,” he added. While playing the four-day games are important, the BCCI doesn’t want to overlook the fact that too much of first-class cricket before the Test series might take a toll on his body as there are two limited overs series preceding it.

BCCI might just put in a request to England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to push back the dates of the one-off Test between India A and England Lions at Worcester. As of now, the India ‘A’ vs Lions four-day game starts July 16 and on July 17, India senior team play their final ODI game against England at Headingley.

There is a possibility that BCCI might request ECB to start the Lions game from July 19, which will just allow Virat and may be KL Rahul a chance to get into the Test match mode. “All we can say at the moment is Virat is playing the three Royal London Cup matches followed by two county games till June 23. Post that, any decision that will be taken will depend on the situation that he will be in,” the office-bearer added.