County stint would have definitely helped Virat, feels Alec Stewart

He also noted that the performance in the Test series will suggest if the decision to skip County cricket was a smart move by the Indian captain.

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India captain Virat Kohli. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

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Team India is gearing up for the big Test series against England. The last time Indian team toured England, they had a miserable time in the Tests. When they take the field this time around, the eyes would be on the visitors and how they adapt to the conditions. More importantly, the eyes would be on the Indian captain Virat Kohli who has had a miserable run in the English conditions in Test cricket in the past.

In the lead up to the Test series, Kohli had an opportunity to gear up with a County stint. He signed a deal with Surrey but had to pull out owing to a neck injury. Recently, as per the quotes in Mid Day, the team director of Surrey, Alec Stewart, spoke at length on Virat Kohli. He remarked that only time will tell if the decision to skip County stint helped Virat or not. Stewart believes that County stint would have definitely helped the Indian captain and lamented over the neck injury that Kohli sustained.

“Virat has played only a limited number of (Test) matches in England and his record is nowhere near the high quality he has achieved everywhere else around the world. So only he can answer (if rest helped him more) and we will know at the end of this series,” Alec Stewart told PTI.

“In my conversation with him (Kohli), we told him that we very much wanted him at Surrey for that month (May), and he told us he wanted to be here. It would have helped Surrey and it would have definitely helped Virat as well. But circumstances around that neck injury meant that he had pull out at the last moment,” he added further.

‘Would gladly pay to watch Virat’

Commenting further on the same note, Alec Stewart remarked that he is excited to see Virat Kohli bat. He noted that the limited overs series would have given Kohli a good look in to the English conditions. He expects the Indian captain to have a major impact in the longest format of the game. Kohli averages less than 20 in Tests in England.

“(But) He has had the white-ball internationals to get ready for the Test series. When you have the quality of Virat, you adjust accordingly and I expect him to have a big impact on the Test series. His record here cannot get worse, it can only improve and world-class players find a way of succeeding in tough conditions,” noted the former English cricketer.

“As much as people will be scrutinizing his record leading into this Test series, I expect him to succeed. I am lucky enough come watch cricket and not buy a ticket. But I would gladly pay to watch Virat bat,” he conceded.

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