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Virat Kohli lauded by England great David Gower for opting to play for Surrey

Virat Kohli lauded by England great David Gower for opting to play for Surrey

New Delhi, May 15: Former England captain David Gower has lauded India captain Virat Kohli for his decision to play for Surrey county in the month of June.

Hailing the 29-year-old cricketer's decision, former England captain feels it will help both Kohli as well as the county club and will also spice up the marquee England-India Test series in the summer.

Kohli faced some criticism by a section by opting to play for the English county for he will have to miss out playing one-off Test against Afghanistan at home in June.

In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, the English legend, who played 117 Tests and 114 ODIs in an international career that spanned from 1978 to 1992, said he was impressed with Kohli's eagerness to play for Surrey for the month of June which also underlined his prioritising of Test cricket in these times of T20 leagues.

"It is a very good thing for him. It's a very good thing for Surrey too. It is a coup by them. They will be delighted to have him - both as a player and someone they can learn from," said Gower.

"Virat is one of the great players in the world at this moment. We know that his last tour here (in 2014) was disappointing. So, I know he has a list of things on his agenda. He wants to prove that he can make as many runs in England as he does elsewhere," he added further.

Gower believes that by spending time ahead of India's tour to England, Kohli has cleared his intentions that he wants to give his team a fair chance of doing well across all formats on the tour.

"Playing in England in August, the conditions will be more favourable (to Kohli). Being the captain, he wants to get a good result too. Personally, for people like me, it is good to see him approach this whole tour from the point of view of giving himself and his team the best chance of success in all formats. By coming here, he is making the world aware how much he respects Test cricket."

Kohli had a forgettable outing when India last toured England for the Test series in 2013. The right-handed batsman managed just 134 runs on that tour and averages a meagre 13.40 on the English soil in the longest format of the game. Certainly, he isn't the same batsman that he used to back then, but the Indian batting mainstay wants to leave no stones unturned to improve these numbers this time around.

Also, Kohli - being a leader of the number one ranked side in Tests - wants his team to win the upcoming series against Joe Root and his men.

Terming Kohli, 29, as an "extraordinary talent", Gower supported the batsman's decision.

"Anyone who has watched cricket in the last five years knows how good he (Kohli) is. He has got extraordinary talent in all forms of the game. We've our special moments and our weaknesses. This is his big chance to make amends for the disappointment of last time," said the retired cricketer turned television expert.

A few days back, Kohli also received the support of another former England captain Nasser Hussain for opting to play for Surrey.

Nasser wrote on his Twitter handle, "Fair play to Virat Kohli .. in a time where some cricketers are reducing their red ball exposure.. the busiest cricketer on the planet is putting it first to prepare for a test series in England .. giving himself the best chance to succeed!!"

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    Story first published: Tuesday, May 15, 2018, 17:02 [IST]
    Other articles published on May 15, 2018
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