Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Dilip Vengsarkar backs Virat Kohli's decision to skip Afghanistan Test

Dilip Vengsarkar backs Virat Kohli's decision to skip Afghanistan Test

"Obviously we expect some good challenges ahead against him this summer back in England".

However, Yorkshire have no game lined up during the Afghanistan Test, scheduled for June 14-18 in Bengaluru.

He says it's a shoe created for cricket enthusiasts and players alike as they are light and adaptive, designed in a way to enhance performance. "So he's very keen to there early, which is a good thing", said the 62-year-old.

Unlike former Australian skipper Michael Clarke who felt Kohli should have been asked to come back to play the Test match to uphold the primacy of Test cricket, Vengsarkar is happy that the Indian captain is looking at the larger picture.

"However, I have learnt how to handle it. Celebrities are also normal human beings - just like any other person, and I feel people should let them have their space", Kohli said.

India is one of the only two current Test-playing nations to have avoided playing pink-ball cricket at the worldwide level, with Bangladesh being the other. "So, he would've got more chances to play in England, scored runs and got into the groove", said Vengsarkar. If I were a selector, I would have asked [Cheteshwar] Pujara [also] to stay back and play county cricket [for Yorkshire], because he is one of the guys who will play in England.

Nevertheless, he was pleased with the itinerary of the England tour, which begins with the limited-overs games before the Tests and allows India's cricketers to feature for India "A" against their English counterparts.

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However, he said when he is on a tour for cricket, he puts his "mind and heart into the next game". The more he plays in England, the better he will become. Last time in South Africa, there was hardly any match for preparation and therefore our players didn't have enough time to adjust to conditions there. "So, the England tour is nicely scheduled", he said.

Vengsarkar also touched upon playing a wrist spinner in Tests because the England batsmen are not good facing leg-spin and that Dinesh Karthik is a fantastic player to have in the side. He is already being talked about as the batsman who will break all the batting records of the greatest of them all, Sachin Tendulkar. In the last four years, he's established himself as the No. 1 batsman in the world.

Speaking on the importance of being well prepared for the English season, Vengsarkar said that it made no sense to have players like Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara play against Afghanistan in India just ahead of the England tour.

India's month-long tour of England begins on July 3.

The Padma Shri awardee cherishes being a part of the winning team during the World Cup in 2011, describing it as an "amazing experience". It's a good thing for Indian cricket.

"It's a balanced team and fast bowlers have done well at the global level". We have a balanced team. "And I think we should be able to beat England in England".

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