India captain Virat Kohli is planning to head to England in advance to play in county cricket and get into the groove for the Test series that will follow.
Reports suggest that some BCCI officials are not pleased with the skipper’s decision to skip Afghanistan’s inaugural Test against India to play in the English domestic tournament.
India are to visit England, after hopping over from Ireland where they will play two T20 Internationals, in June, to play three T20s and as many ODIs between July 3 and 17.
Afghanistan will play their first-ever Test in Bengaluru from June 14, but Kohli and a few other Indian cricketers have chosen to prepare for the England tour in July by travelling there in advance and playing county cricket.
With the Indian team set to play the limited overs leg before the Test series begins in England, many believe a trip to acclimatise is avoidable.
Former India fast bowler Zaheer Khan, though, feels the decision to play is abroad ahead of a tough overseas tour should be an individual call, as only the player knows what his game requires.
“It’s an individual’s choice,” Zaheer told reporters after unveiling the trophy of the Pro Star (U16) League (west zone) in Mumbai on Friday. “Virat playing county cricket is an individual call and not a team call,” he added.
‘Early arrival in England will benefit players’
Zaheer further said that most members of the team had toured England before and are aware of the conditions on offer.
The 39-year-old also believes the limited-overs series on the tour should give the players ample opportunity to acclimatise to the weather and wickets before the start of the opening Test at Edgbaston on August 1.
“There will be more than enough time to get used to the conditions. It certainly will give you enough time to get yourself acclimatised. Most players are playing in more than one format and the key players will get used to wickets and conditions,” said the left-arm bowler, who took 31 wickets in 8 Tests in England and also played county cricket for Surrey and Worcestershire.
“One thing with England is the weather is not consistent. In overcast conditions the ball is going to swing. At the end of day you need the right frame of mind and right technique to deal with it as a bowler or batsman,” Zaheer added.
However, with the Test series to commence only in August, Zaheer feels the weather will not be fickle and the teams can expect drier wickets.
“The weather is consistent around that time and the wickets may be on the drier side because the sun will be out,” said Zaheer who grabbed 311 wickets in Tests and 282 from 200 ODIs.