Former India opener Sunil Gavaskar has backed Virat Kohli to come out with flying colours during the testing tour of England, starting on Tuesday (July 3) with a T20I affair at the Old Trafford, Manchester.
Gavaskar also feels that the neck strain which ruled Kohli out of his maiden county stint for Surrey had come as a blessing in disguise for the Indian captain. During Royal Challengers Bangalore’s last league match against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2018, Virat had picked up a neck injury and was subsequently advised by BCCI’s medical team to take rest.
"He is going to make up for all his failures in 2014. The fact that he missed out on the Surrey stint, I believe is a blessing in disguise," Gavaskar quoted as saying by ibtimes.com.
Despite his awe-inspiring record all over the world, Virat hasn’t been able to perform at his best in red-ball cricket on English soil. With just 134 runs in five Test matches at a dismal average of 13.40, doing well in England is a top priority for the Delhi lad.
"He had a bad time in 2014 but that was his first step up the ladder for greatness. Now he is right up there. With all that experience, there is going to be a bucket full of runs for him.
"He is too good a player. He doesn't actually need a stint with a county team to score runs. What he needed more than anything else was a break. He has got a whole month of it now. That one month off would have rejuvenated him and added to his hunger to score runs here in England," he added.
Unlike in the past, India are heading into the much-awaited five-match Test series (starting from August 1 in Edgbaston) after playing the limited-overs series. Lord’s will host the second Test while Trent Bridge, Rose Bowl and The Oval will stage the third, fourth and fifth Test respectively.
India’s Tour of England Schedule:
Jul 03, 1st T20I – Old Trafford, Manchester
Jul 06, 2nd T20I – Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
Jul 08, 3rd T20I – County Ground, Bristol
Jul 12, 1st ODI – Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Jul 14, 2nd ODI – Lord's, London
Jul 17, 3rd ODI – Headingley, Leeds
Aug 01 - Aug 05, 1st Test – Edgbaston, Birmingham
Aug 09 - Aug 13, 2nd Test – Lord's, London
Aug 18 - Aug 22, 3rd Test – Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Aug 30 - Sep 03, 4th Test – The Rose Bowl, Southampton
Sep 07 - Sep 11, 5th Test – Kennington Oval, London