Cricket News

Kohli goes behind enemy lines to prepare for England clash

Those who get to the top of any industry are the ones that are never truly satisfied with their own personal performance. They have a burning desire that runs deep down to always improve and that is spurred on by the acknowledgement that every day is an opportunity to get better. Virat Kohli is the epitome of that type of individual. The Indian skipper is a modern day great but he knows he has weaknesses that have the potential to weaken the legacy he will one day leave behind.

Ask any pundit or fan about Kohli’s stature in the game and you will be met with a long-winded string of superlatives. The cricket world agrees that Kohli is one of the best batsmen to have ever played the game and astonishingly he hasn’t turned 30 yet. Unfortunately, the global cricketing fraternity also shares the opinion that Kohli’s record in England is an extremely poor one by any standards and questions over his ability to succeed in the English conditions are louder than ever.

It even has Michael Holding refusing to call Kohli a great until he is able to score substantial runs in the United Kingdom. That may seem a bit cynical from the former West Indian quick but there is an element of truth in Holding’s judgment that can’t be ignored. Ignoring that fact is certainly not something Virat Kohli will be doing and the unsettling noise around his England record has made him more determined than ever.

Kohli only averaged 13.4 in the five tests in England in 2014 with a highest score of 39. As frustrating as that was for him, Kohli isn’t willing to get caught up in spats with those who have questioned his technique on English pitches.

Mudslinging between pundits and players is always fascinating to watch and gives fans a chance to see what happens when the gloves are off. It often takes place in the media and over social media, which adds fuel to any fire. No one is partial to unjust criticism especially when its delivered in a public space, but when you give it to professional sportsmen with sizeable egos, the reaction tends to be a strong one.

Virat Kohli has heard the damning assessments of his time in England and isn’t choosing to respond with the keyboard but rather with bat in hand.

Kohli has signed for Surrey and will play in the County Championship in June for the South-East franchise. It’s a move that you can only admire and gives you great insight into the way Kohli is wired. In total, Kohli will play three County Championship games for a very talented Surrey side that are yet to lose in the competition this season. Their versatility in all formats is one of their strengths and it shows as William Hill has Surrey at 13/2 to win the Vitality T20 Blast this season. Kohli will arrive in a dressing room that is well-rounded and eager to win.

The Indian captain may only be playing a small part in the four-day format but his decision to do so will reverberate around the cricketing world.

For a man that is so confident almost to the point of being brash, it’s quite evident that Kohli also recognises his flaws. Perhaps that’s why he is so confrontational on the pitch as he sees competitors around him that won’t go to the lengths he will to improve. One thing is for sure and that is Virat Kohli puts his money where his mouth is and those flaws in England may be a thing of the past after the 2018 summer.