Virat Kohli has agreed a deal to play for Surrey in June before India’s Test series in England this summer, as reported by the Guardian in March.
The India captain will feature in three County Championship matches and three One-Day cup games in a bid to adjust to English conditions before the Test series.
Alec Stewart, Surrey’s director of cricket, said in March that he was not sure if a deal would be possible as it would mean the captain missing the one-off Test with Afghanistan in Bangalore on 20 June and a Twenty20 series with Ireland. He added: “If he does now become available we would look at it again to see if it could potentially work around our current overseas arrangements.”
Surrey already have Mitchell Marsh as their overseas player for this season but Australia’s five-match one-day series against England, starting on 13 June, would open up a three-week gap for a replacement.
The five-Test series that starts at Edgbaston on 1 August is what sits firmly in Kohli’s sights with success against the red Dukes ball in England the one gap in his otherwise stellar cricketing CV. The 29-year-old’s previous Test tour of England, in 2014, brought a return of 134 runs from 10 innings as India succumbed to a 3-1 defeat. Kohli has said that he was “thankful” for the effect this had on his career.
Speaking about the chance to play county cricket in future during India’s 4-0 home victory over England in 2016 – a series dominated by his batting – Kohli said: “I would love a month to get used to playing in the conditions and understand what the wickets play like in that phase of the year.”