Virat Kohli
File photo of India captain Virat Kohli.GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images
  • Kohli is set to skip India's Test against Afghanistan in order to play county cricket.
  • He will be leading India in a five-Test series against England, starting August 1 in Birmingham.
  • Kohli had struggled in English conditions that last time India toured England.

Even as a few fans are unhappy over letting Virat Kohli get assimilated to the English conditions ahead of India's tour of England in the upcoming summer, former cricketers and experts have lauded the India captain for his willingness to prioritise the longest format of the game at a time when T20 globetrotting seems to be the norm.

Surrey County Cricket Club Thursday, May 3, announced the signing of Kohli on a one-month deal. The 29-year-old will be three limited-over and three first-class matches for the Brown Caps between June 1 and 28.

"It has long been an ambition of mine to play county cricket and I am thankful to Alec Stewart and Surrey for allowing me the opportunity to join them during their 2018 season. I can't wait to get to the Kia Oval," Kohli said after the signing was made official, as quoted by the county's official website.

Kohli had voiced his willingness to play county cricket in the past as well and the upcoming stint gives him an opportunity to bury the memories of a horrid patch he suffered in England in 2014 and start afresh during the much-anticipated Test series, starting August 1.

Notably, the Delhi batsman averaged 13.50 in 10 innings as he struggled on green tops and seamer-friendly conditions.

Surrey's schedule during Kohli stint

  1. Vs Kent (Royal London One Day Cup) - June 1 at Worsley Bridge Road
  2. Vs Middlesex (Royal London One Day Cup) - June 3 at Lord's
  3. Vs Glamorgan (Royal London One Day Cup) - June 6 at The Kia Oval
  4. vs Hampshire (County Championship) - June 9 to 12 at The Ageas Bowl
  5. Vs Somerset (County Championship) - June 20 to 23 at Guildford CC
  6. Vs Yorkshire (County Championship) - June 25-28 at Scarborough

Surrey themselves are thrilled to have Kohli playing for them in the month of June. The Indian captain's presence is expected to boost the ticket sales and give the county club a lot of visibility across the country.

Former England wicketkeeper Alec Stewart, the county club's director of cricket, expressed delight at Kohli's signing and opined the youngsters in the side will learn a lot from the top-ranked batsman.

"We are thrilled to have signed the biggest name in world cricket for the month of June. Playing and training alongside Virat will be a massive benefit for our players who will have the opportunity to learn so much from him," Stewart said.

Nasser Hussain lauds Virat Kohli over Surrey signing

Nasser Hussain, the former England captain, heaped praise on Kohli for setting his priorities right and giving himself the best chance to succeed in the upcoming English summer.

"Fair play to Virat Kohli .. in a time where some cricketers are reducing their red ball exposure.. the busiest cricketer on the planet is putting it first to prepare for a test series in England .. giving himself the best chance to succeed!!" Hussain wrote on Twitter.

IBTimes India has compiled a list of reactions to Kohli joining Surrey county cricket club. Check them out below.

 The English cricket community was not entirely happy though...