Even Cheteshwar Pujara should have skipped Afghanistan Test: Dilip Vengsarkar


Recently some former cricketers, including ex-Australia captain Michael Clarke, had questioned Virat Kohli's decision to miss the Afghanistan Test and instead play county cricket to prepare for the tour of England. "So he's very keen to there early, which is a good thing", said the 62-year-old.

"To be honest with you, I feel that the Afghanistan Test is wrongly scheduled because they (the BCCI) should've concentrated more on the England tour. For them, playing in India against Afghanistan makes no sense", added Vengsarkar. "Obviously we expect some good challenges ahead against him this summer back in England".

When asked about Kohli opting to play county cricket, Vengsarkar said, "It is a good decision because he (Virat) will get time to get acclimatised to the conditions (in England)". In 13 Tests in England, Vengsarkar has scored 960 runs at 48.00 and with four centuries (including three at Lord's) and as many half-centuries. Pujara's coming back from England to play Afghanistan defies logic because he was playing in county cricket, where, at the moment, he isn't very consistent. "Every country has to play Day-Night Test. India have reservations but that's a long-term future for test cricket", Ganguly told reporters on the sidelines of health drink Complan launching a movement with him which aims to raise protein awareness across India.

However, Yorkshire have no game lined up during the Afghanistan Test, scheduled for June 14-18 in Bengaluru. I don't know that's Virat's choice but I am really surprised. "Compared to previous tours, this is a good itinerary because India has got enough games to play before the first Test". So, the players get time to acclimatise to the conditions. "In South Africa, the team hardly got a match before the first Test".

While wicketkeeping mainstay MS Dhoni has been in ominous form throughout the ongoing Indian Premier League, the performances of wicketkeeper-batsmen like Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson have been good for Indian cricket.

"I keep a good balance between my personal and professional life". It just shows how important the England tour is for him.

On whether India could defeat England, Vengsarkar said, "Yes I expect a lot from the tour of England simply because we have got fast bowlers and lots options in fast bowlers which was not the case before".

India's month-long tour of England begins on July 3.

A member of the 1983 ODI World Cup-winning team, Vengsarkar, though, praised the itinerary of the Indian team and backed Kohli and Co.to do well.

"I think the fact that we have 12 English players (in the IPL) is a great thing for English cricket", he said. The team is balanced and the fast bowlers are good at global level. We've a balanced team. With Kohli taking extra efforts to deliver this time in England, Vengsarkar was confident that 2018 tour of England would be a better one for the Indian captain.