West Indian great Sir Vivian Richards has hailed Virat Kohli’s decision to play in the English County Championship with Surrey before India’s grueling England tour in July-August 2018.
He is also confident that the “tremendously improved” right-hander will definitely do exceptionally well in English conditions this time and shut down all criticism about his previous tour to England in 2014.
Kohli averaged 13.4 over five Tests and managed a top score of 40 in the ODIs in the last time when they toured England way back in 2014.
As per reports in Sportstarlive, Richards said on Wednesday, “I'll back him to improve on that, coming out of there [with an average] in the fifties or high forties. He has improved tremendously as a batsman. I'll put my money on him scoring. He hasn't quite done it to the English as he has to other teams around the world. That should be a huge motivator.”
On Kohli's decision to play in the County cricket, the batting great said, “He's smart enough and that's one way of getting yourself fully acclimatized, by playing county cricket.”
Meanwhile, the 66-year-old doesn’t see anything wrong in Indian captain Kohli's aggression on the field, saying, “He's a little fiery. And no, [he doesn't overdo it]. It's when you start going as if you're in a boxing match, that's when it gets nasty. But I remember when he was in Australia they gave him plenty. To be fair, you cannot just stand there and take it.”
Richards signed off by saying, “I love guys who stand up to fast bowlers...they think that because they have a ball in hand, at times they can intimidate you. If you're good enough and you have that ability, you respond. I didn't mind it when they sledged me; I was in their faces.”