Virat Kohli likely to pick India T20I over Surrey game


Virat Kohli is likely to choose the two-match T20I series T20I in Ireland over his third county match for Surrey after the India selectors named him the captain for the games even though the dates clash with Kohli’s Surrey stint. Surrey had announced Kohli had signed up with them for the whole month of June – the T20Is in Ireland are on June 27 and 29; Surrey’s match against Yorkshire is from June 25 to 28. The BCCI, however, says there is no commitment for Kohli to play all three games for Surrey.

It is understood that the BCCI officials are in talks with concerned authorities in England to resolve the issue amicably. It might not be that difficult to convince Surrey as they are already believed to be under fire from former England players for providing Kohli match-practice ahead of India’s tour of Engalnd in July.

The understanding among the BCCI is that if Kohli gets a decent hit in Surrey’s first two matches, the priority for him will be the two T20Is in Ireland. Should weather or other factors deny him adequate time in the middle in the first two matches, Kohli might stay back and play in Scarborough. Surrey meanwhile are of the view that Kohli will be missing the first T20I, playing in Scarborough, and then making it to the second T20I the next day.

India are understood to be flexible with their preparation plans for the Test series. A shadow tour for India A has been organised in June before the Tests for which India have not named any Test players, but the options are open should any of the Test players – even Kohli – need that tour to acclimatise. The chairman of selectors MSK Prasad said they had had a discussion with the team management and India A coach Rahul Dravid regarding that.

“Some of the Test specialists like [Wriddhiman] Saha, [Murali] Vijay, [Mohammed] Shami will play the third India A Test against West Indies A before playing the warm-up game against Essex and then the England Tests,” Prasad said.

Cricinfo, however, understands, that this plan is not limited to just the three players. Some of the all-formats players could hop over to the unofficial Test against England Lions, scheduled to be played from July 16 to 19 in Worcester. This clashes with the third ODI against England, which might need some rescheduling of the unofficial Test, which is part of the current talks.

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