Virat Kohli has no inclination of playing in ECB's latest 'Hundred' format

Sudhir Gupta 29/08/2018
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Virat Kohli does not want to be a part of the 100-ball format.

India skipper Virat Kohli has raised concerns that commercial aspects are hurting the true quality of the game.

The 29-year-old batsman is one of the busiest cricketers in the world leading India in all three formats along with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.

Speaking to Wisden Cricket Monthly, Kohli touched on the demanding schedule for modern cricketers.

“I’m already very… I wouldn’t say frustrated, but sometimes it can get very demanding of you when you have to play so much cricket regularly. I feel somewhere the commercial aspect is taking over the real quality of cricket and that hurts me,” Kohli stated.

The No1 ranked Test batsman in the world also spoke on the possibility of playing in the ‘Hundred’ format devised by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). The 100-ball format is ECB’s attempt to reignite interest in the sport in the country and there have been reports that top Indian cricketers could be invited to play in the inaugural match.

Kohli, however, does not have any inclination to play the format.

Kohli leads India across all three formats of the game.

Kohli leads India across all three formats of the game.

“Obviously for the people involved (ECB) in the whole process and the set-up it will be really exciting but I cannot think of one more format, to be honest,” Kohli said.

“Honestly, I don’t want to be a testing sort of a cricketer for any new format. I don’t want to be someone who’s going to be part of that World XI who comes and launches the 100-ball format,” he added.

The India superstar was slated to make his maiden appearance in England’s county cricket this year but his proposed stint with Surrey did not come to fruition due to a neck injury he sustained in the IPL.

The Indian man remains determined to play in England’s domestic first-class competition at some point in the future.

“County cricket always intrigued me. Unfortunately, it couldn’t happen this time but I would love to come again in future,” the right-hander said.

“I have heard so much from so many players over so many years that it has really helped them understand their games even better. Also just to understand how professional the set-up over here is, how the longest format of the game is looked at with so much respect.”

Kohli and his men will lock horns with England in the fourth Test of the five-match series which gets underway at Southampton on Thursday.

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Anderson closing in on McGrath and more England v India fourth Test stats

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Seemingly as good as ever: James Anderson.

England and India clash in the pivotal fourth Test match at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Thursday.

The hosts hold a slender 2-1 series lead with this match and the finale at the Oval to come.

However, it is the tourists who have all the momentum after a crushing win at Trent Bridge.

Here, we look at the key match stats before the two teams lock horns again.

  • 6 – James Anderson (557 wickets) is just six scalps away from equalling Glenn McGrath’s record Test wicket haul as a seamer (563), and seven shy of overtaking the Australian legend. The England bowler is the leading series wicket-taker so far with 17 and fifth in the all-time Test wicket victims charts currently.
  • 6 – Virat Kohli is just six runs shy of 6,000 runs in Test cricket. The Indian skipper will no doubt reach that landmark imminently and when he does, Kohli will become the sixth-fastest man in history to get there. Remarkably, Don Bradman took just 69 innings to amass the total while Kohli has played 118 Test knocks for the Men in Blue.
  • 1 – India pace ace Ishant Sharma (249) needs just one more wicket to reach the 250 milestone in Tests. Should he do that in Southampton, the tall seamer will become the seventh Indian bowler to claim 250 victims or more.
  • 19 – Aside from Ravi Ashwin taking the wicket of James Anderson to clinch victory in Nottingham, 19 out of the 20 English wickets available were taken by seam bowling at Trent Bridge. In the series as a whole, Indian quicks have gobbled up 38 out of 46 wickets on offer.
India's captain Virat Kohli is interviewed after winning the third Test cricket match between England and India at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, central England on August 22, 2018. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. NO ASSOCIATION WITH DIRECT COMPETITOR OF SPONSOR, PARTNER, OR SUPPLIER OF THE ECB (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Unsurprisingly, Virat Kohli is on the cusp of another landmark.

  • 3 – This is only the third Test match played at the Ageas Bowl, formerly named the Rose Bowl, in Southampton over the past seven years. England have yet to taste defeat at the venue after drawing with Sri Lanka in 2011 and beating India in 2014.
  • 266 – the run margin of victory for England when they clashed with the sub continent giants four years ago. Moeen Ali claimed 6-67 in the second innings as the hosts sauntered to victory.
  • 1937 – the year in which Bradman’s Australia became the only Test team in history to turn round a 2-0 deficit and win a five-match series 3-2. The Baggy Green did it on home soil against England during the 1936/37 Ashes, sealing a win by an innings and 200 runs in the fifth match at Melbourne. It is obviously still possible for India to do something similar.

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Ravi Ashwin resumes bowling in the nets as England sweat on Chris Woakes' fitness

Sudhir Gupta 29/08/2018
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Ashwin resumed bowling in the nets on Tuesday.

India received a boost ahead of the fourth Test against England at Southampton with off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin having a bowl in the nets on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old’s fitness has been a concern ever since he sustained a groin injury in the third Test at Southampton. When the Indian team hit the nets for their first training session in Southampton on Monday, the senior spinner only did some light batting practice and stayed away from bowling.

That had given rise to speculation that Ashwin’s place in the side could be taken by Ravindra Jadeja who bowled extensively in Monday’s net session.

Now, with Ashwin showing signs of recovery, the probability of India skipper Virat Kohli naming an unchanged playing XI for the first time in his captaincy tenure have shot up.

Chris Woakes did not attend England's training session on Tuesday.

Chris Woakes did not attend England’s training session on Tuesday.

While Ashwin remains India’s only injury concern ahead of the fourth Test, England have some pondering to do in light of Jonny Bairstow’s injury. The England wicket-keeper injured his finger at Trent Bridge and could play as a specialist batsman at Southampton with Jos Buttler taking the gloves.

On the other hand, all-rounder Chris Woakes is now a big doubt for the Test after he skipped the team’s Tuesday training session. The Englishman is said to have missed out on the session after complaining of some pain in his right thigh.

It was the same injury that kept the all-rounder out of the limited-overs clashes preceding the Test series and his place could be taken by Sam Curran if he is unable to recover in time.

The fourth Test between the two sides gets underway on Thursday. The hosts currently lead the five-match series 2-1.

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