Former Proteas and India coach Gary Kirsten praised Virat Kohli for opting to play county cricket instead of leading India in Afghanistan’s historic inaugural Test.
The 29-year-old India skipper will travel to England after the IPL to join up with Surrey, where he will feature in the Royal London One Day Cup and the County Championship.
This is in preparation for India’s month-long tour to England, which kicks off in July, and will help Kohli familiarise himself with the UK conditions.
As a result, India will be without their regular skipper for Afghanistan’s first ever Test, with Ajinkya Rahane taking over as captain when the sides meet on 14 June.
Kirsten, who is currently the batting coach at Kohli’s IPL franchise the Royal Challengers Bangalore, says that he made the correct decision.
‘Strategically, he has done a good thing to sign a contract with Surrey for a month. To get acclimatised to the conditions, I think that is very smart. But he has three years more experience now from the last tour,’ Kirsten was quoted as saying by The Hindustan Times.
‘I thought the Indian team, although they didn’t win the series in South Africa, they had a very strong series. If you take the whole tour, they won the ODIs easy. England will be a different kettle of fish at home and they will swing the ball.
‘[James] Anderson and Stuart Broad will be very effective in England. If they can overcome that, then potentially they will have a good series.’
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