India captain Virat Kohli questions utility of tour games

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India captain Virat Kohli has questioned the utility of warm-up matches before Test series despite paying a huge price for its absence in two successive away tours.

India have lost the Pataudi Trophy 3-1 and now face the prospect of finishing the five-Test series 4-1 after The Oval Test. India lost the series in South Africa 2-1. Kohli’s team have now lost five out of their last seven away Tests and their lack of preparation has been blamed for their woes.

India did not play a single warm-up match in South Africa. In England, they played just one truncated warm-up match before the five-Test series and even took five days off before the first Test.

Compare that to Pakistan’s tour of England this year. Even though they were playing just a two-Test series, Pakistan took part in two warm-up matches, played Ireland’s inaugural Test, and had another warm-up game before the first Test. They drew the series 1-1.

However, instead of admitting that India need to play warm-up matches before Test series, Kohli questioned their importance.

Speaking to Michael Holding on Sony Liv, Kohli said: “Lot of people talk about tour games but where are those tour games happening and against what quality of bowling are very important questions to be asked.

“Because if you don’t get the preparation you need before a Test series, then it is actually not utilised well. Time is not utilised well if you don’t get the quality of opposition that you face in Test cricket.”

For the record, India faced reigning county champions Essex in their tour game which was reduced to a three-day affair on India’s request.

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'Footballer' Virat Kohli turns out to be a Southampton supporter

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Virat Kohli with Danny Ings. Image: Matt Watson/Southampton FC

Virat Kohli is not only a world-famous cricketer and athlete but a football enthusiast as well.

The India captain is already one of the greatest batsmen of this generation and his fame has crossed international and sporting boundaries. Kohli is co-owner of Indian Super League side FC Goa and and has regularly spoken about having keen interest in various sports and not just cricket.

It therefore didn’t come as a surprise when Kohli was handed a personalised jersey by Premier League side Southampton last week upon the Indian team’s arrival in the city for the fourth Test of the series against England which India ended up losing.

Kohli was pictured alongside Saints ace Danny Ings on Instagram with a Southampton jersey bearing Kohli’s name and his favourite number 18.

Last week, India batsman KL Rahul, accompanied by fast bowler Umesh Yadav, visited the Emirates Stadium to watch Arsenal take on West Ham.

Rahul not only got to watch the game but also met Danny Welbeck. In one of the posts, Rahul and Umesh were seen showing off their footballing skills.

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Watch: Virat Kohli says England deserved to win

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India captain Virat Kohli said his team didn’t do a whole lot wrong in the fourth Test at Southampton and that it was just a case of England playing better cricket.

Kohli said the visitors managed to gain a 27-run first-innings lead thanks to a ton by Cheteshwar Pujara and contributions from tail-enders, which means the Indians could have had a bigger first-innings lead if another top-order batsman had contributed.

“England played better cricket than us and deserved to win,” Kohli said after the match.

Watch the full video below.

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