English County club Surrey on Thursday confirmed that India skipper Virat Kohli will play for them in the County Championship ahead of the England tour.

The 29-year-old will be with the team for the duration of June and will be available to play in all formats.

Speaking after signing for the club, Virat Kohli said: “It has long been an ambition of mine to play county cricket and I am thankful to Alec Stewart and Surrey for allowing me the opportunity to join them during their 2018 season.”

The Surrey stint means that Kohli will miss India’s one-off Test match against Afghanistan in Bengaluru which starts on June 14.

The Indian skipper – the second-ranked Test batsman in the world and the best in one-day internationals – had an uncharacteristically ordinary spell during the England tour in 2014.

The prolific run-getter managed just 134 runs in 10 innings, a far cry from the average 53.40 over 66 Tests, including 21 centuries, that earned him the moniker “King Kohli”.

Virat Kohli will be the sixth Indian to play for Surrey:

  • Zaheer Khan - 2004
  • Harbhajan Singh - 2005
  • Anil Kumble - 2006 
  • Pragyan Ojha - 2011
  • Murali Karthik - 2012

He wants to avoid a repeat of his poor form on English soil, and plans to train there to prepare for India’s tour starting July.

“Playing county cricket will help me improve my game,” the right-hand batsman told NDTV last month.

“I think it makes things more challenging and more competitive and there are no guarantees whether you are going to do well even if you go in advance. It’s just about giving yourself more opportunity to get used to the conditions that you are not used to,” he added.

The all-important series will see India play England in three Twenty20 matches, three ODIs and five Tests.