Virat Kohli’s county stint is nonsense: Bob Willis
Former England fast bowler Bob Willis has vehemently opposed overseas players plying their trade in county cricket, in wake of Indian captain Virat Kohli opting for a county stint with Surrey this June to prepare well for the India’s overseas tour in England starting in June. "I can't stand overseas players in county cricket," Willis told Sky Sports. "It doesn't benefit the players stranded in the second XI year on year and the youngsters.
The only way to improve our Test team is to have as many England-qualified players playing in the County Championship as possible.” Wills went on to term the county’s decision to pay Kohli ‘presumably, five figures a match’ as nonsense. "Instead, they're going to pay Kohli, presumably, five figures a match so he can hone his skills in English conditions before a Test series. It's a nonsense,” said the 68-year-old, who played 90 Tests for England.
The 6 ft 6 bowler opined that the England should stop accommodating all visiting players, saying "He should be made to suffer in England as he has done before. We don't want England starting to lose Test matches at home because we're accommodating all of these visiting players". Despite the batting powerhouse that Kohli has grown up to be in the last few years, England has always proved to be a tough outing for the Indian skipper. With just 134 runs in five Test matches and a dismal average of 13.40, doing well in England has been a top priority for the India captain.
The first Test begins on August 1 at Edgbaston In doing so, the skipper will miss Afghanistan’s debut Test in India to be hosted in Bengaluru starting June 14 and will instead head to the south of London post the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara is likely to extend his association with Yorkshire in the same month. In fact, with Surrey set to clash with Yorkshire in June, Kohli and Pujara could well find themselves clashing with each other as India gear up to put their best foot forward in England.
Prior to the start of this series, Surrey is scheduled to play three four-day matches between June 9 and 28 against Hampshire, Somerset and Yorkshire which Kohli is likely to make himself available for.