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Virat Kohli should be made to suffer in England, says Bob Willis

Kohli is expected to play for Surrey in Division One of English county in his bid to prepare for the five-Test August-September series in England.

Edited by: India TV Sports Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: March 27, 2018 20:43 IST ]
Image Source : PTI

A file photograph of Virat Kohli

As captain Virat Kohli plans to hon his skills in England with a county stint ahead of India's tour, former England captain Bob Willis has expressed his wish to see the prolific batsman to "suffer" from the wretched form that he endured in 2014.

Kohli is expected to play for Surrey in Division One of English county in his bid to prepare for the five-Test August-September series in England, which has been his focus for some time now.

"I can't stand overseas players in county cricket," Willis told 'Sky Sports'.

"He should be made to suffer and average 30 in England as he has done before. We don't want England starting to lose Test matches at home because we're accommodating all of these visiting players," Willis commented.

Apart from Kohli, the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara (Yorkshire) and Ishant Sharma (Sussex) are also set to play for different sides.

Willis, however, is upset that England will be losing home advantage ahead of the series and termed it as a detrimental move for the counties.

"It doesn't benefit the players stranded in the second XI year on year and the youngsters. The only way to improve our Test team is to have as many England-qualified players playing in the County Championship as possible," said Willis, who has played 90 Test matches for his country taking 325 wickets.

"Instead, they're going to pay Kohli, presumably, five figures a match so he can hone his skills in English conditions before a Test series. It's a nonsense," fumed Willis.

The 68-year-old feels that like last time, when Kohli failed to score a single half-century across five Tests, England should once again make him suffer.

However, Surrey's director of women's cricket, Ebony Rainford-Brent felt that Kohli's presence will help them boost the profile of county cricket.

"Box office players like Kohli will give county cricket a bit of a buzz and it should be celebrated. You want the best people playing and if that turns out to be for Surrey, then so be it." 

She gave the example of Kumar Sangakkara, who had a prolific season for Surrey, last year.

"Look at Kumar Sangakkara, for example, and the amount the Surrey players soaked up from playing alongside a great like that for the last two years. Hearing they may now be around Kohli, I think the players would be excited by that.

(With PTI inputs)

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