Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has said that India skipper Virat Kohli badly needed some rest after the exhausting Indian Premier League. Harbhajan also feels the neck strain which ruled Virat out of the county stint came as a blessing in disguise for him ahead of the all-important England tour.
Kohli’s much-anticipated county stint with Surrey came to a halt on Thursday (May 24) after the Indian captain suffered a neck sprain. During the South Africa tour earlier this year, Virat had missed a T20I game owing to the same injury.
“Not at all, I feel it (Virat’s injury) should be okay as there is lot of time. It it good that he (Virat) is not playing county because he needs rest as IPL is a very hectic tournament, it is not that easy,” Harbhajan quoted as saying by PTI.
“After IPL all players feel there should be a break of 15 days. So in my opinion, it is good that he (Virat) is not going to play county cricket. His body will get rest, he will recover and much better prepared for the bigger things. I am sure he is as good as a player, whether he plays county cricket or not,” he added.
Earlier, it was reported that Kohli's stint with Surrey will begin on June 1 with a one day game against Kent at Beckenham. He was supposed to play the second and third match of the Royal London Cup on June 3 and 6 against Middlesex and Glamorgan respectively. Subsequently, the 29-year-old was to feature in two four-day games.
“Every player know their body and somewhere down the line we as players need to take responsibility and understand our bodies and see what works for us. For different bodies, different things work,” Bhajji asserted.
“We need to be honest and be out there and tell those people who are in-charge of making calenders... this is the kind of work load we need to have and work as a team,” he said when asked about work-load management. If players are getting injured in more numbers, then the reason is more cricket happening, or there is fatigue or they are not getting rest properly or they are not eating well. Rest is important,” he explained.
India’s tour of England will kick off from July 3 where they will play three T20Is and as many ODIs before featuring in a five-match Test series from August 1. When asked about the hectic assignment, Harbhajan said the current crop of Indian cricketers can conquer the English conditions.
“Every-time they (India) tour abroad, we feel we we have a team to win abroad but in the end... how the wickets are going to be, whether our fast bowling unit will be fit during that time, a lot will depend (on) whether Virat will be batting at his best. A lot will go on the form as well, how is the form of bowlers and batsmen, but yes (when) we go on a tour we feel that we have a chance to win,” he opined.
“But (it is a) great opportunity and I see this team has the potential to win. Keeping that in mind fitness has to be at the top level. It is not going to be that easy to go out and start winning. It is going to be a lot of hard work, but this team has the capability to do so. Its been a great journey coming from one brilliant team to another, luckily things did not change too much for me, we played final there (with MI) and playing the final here (for CSK),” Harbhajan Singh concluded.