Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has backed Virat Kohli to use all his experience and score run in aplenty in the upcoming tour of England, starting July 3 in Manchester.
Gavaskar added that Kohli's county no-show was a blessing in disguise and that a month's rest from a busy cricket schedule will only do good to the Indian captain on the tour that is being touted as one of the sternest tests for the world number one Test side.
Kohli was not as established as he is today when he struggled to deal with English conditions in 2014 but the Delhi batsman is heading into the upcoming series as one of the modern-day greats, according to the 68-year-old.
Kohli suffered one of the lowest points of his cricket career when during India's tour of England in 2014. He struggled in pacer-friendly conditions as he managed only 134 runs at 13.40 in 10 innings.
The right-hander was a walking wicket as James Anderson & Co. exposed his weakness to balls that moved away from him.
Kohli doesn't need a county stint to score runs: Gavaskar
"He is going to make up for all his failures in 2014. The fact that he missed out on the Surrey stint, I believe is a blessing in disguise," Gavaskar said during his commentary duties for Sony Six after India's record-setting win over Ireland in the second of a two-match T20I series on Friday.
"He had a bad time in 2014 but that was his first step up the ladder for greatness. Now he is right up there. With all that experience, there is going to be a bucket full of runs for him.
"He is too good a player. He doesn't actually need a stint with a county team to score runs. What he needed more than anything else was a break. He has got a whole month of it now. That one month off would have rejuvenated him and added to his hunger to score runs here in England."
Unlike in the past, India are heading into the much-anticipated five-match Test series (starting August 1 in Edgbaston) after playing T20Is and ODIs in the Old Blighty. As Gavaskar insists, Kohli will be a more confident player, given the success he has enjoyed in Australia and South Africa.
Kohli was supposed to spend the whole of June with Surrey after he penned a deal with the county team earlier this year. However, an injury suffered during Indian Premier League 2018 forced him to withdraw from the scheduled trip.
Kohli would want to settle scores: Tendulkar
Meanwhile, batting great Sachin Tendulkar also expressed confidence in Kohli's ability to conquer England in the upcoming tour.
"Good players want to go out and score runs in whichever part of the world they play. The last series wasn't a pleasant one, so I am sure he would want to go there and settle scores," Tendulkar told Sony Six.
"That hunger has to be there. That desire to go out and perform gives him a reason to work harder. He is someone who believes in himself. He will leave no stone unturned, I am quite sure about that."
India tour of England 2018 schedule (all times local)
- 3 July (Tuesday) – 1st T20I, Emirates Old Trafford (5.30 pm)
- 6 July (Friday) – 2nd T20I, SSE SWALEC, Cardiff (5.30 pm)
- 8 July (Sunday) – 3rd T20I, The Brightside Ground, Bristol (2 pm)
- 12 July (Thursday) – 1st ODI, Trent Bridge (12.30 pm)
- 14 July (Saturday) – 2nd ODI, Lord's (11 am)
- 17 July (Tuesday) – 3rd ODI, Emerald Headingley (12.30 pm)
- 1-5 August (Wednesday to Sunday) – 1st Test, Edgbaston
- 9-13 August (Thursday to Monday) – 2nd Test, Lord's
- 18-22 August (Saturday to Wednesday) – 3rd Test, Trent Bridge
- 30 August-3 September (Thursday to Monday) – 4th Test, Ageas Bowl
- 7-11 September (Friday to Tuesday) – 5th Test, Kia Oval