New Zealand v England Tests
How Kohli can conquer final frontier
Kapil Dev urges current Indian skipper to pursue county contract ahead of blockbuster Test series against England
10 March 2018, 01:35 PM AEST
He's conquered Asia, dominated in Australia and been prolific in South Africa, but Virat Kohli will face one of the biggest tests of his career when he returns to England this year.
Kohli, with 21 Test centuries and an average of 53 to his name, will lead India in a blockbuster five-Test battle against Joe Root's side in August and September, with the tourists seeking to secure their status as the world's No.1 Test side.
On a more personal level, the tour is a chance for Kohli to make amends for his horror 2014 campaign in the UK, where he averaged just 13.40 from five Tests.
Apart from Bangladesh (where Kohli has batted just once in Tests for a score of 14), England is the only country in the world where Kohli has played Tests and averaged less than 35.
And one of his predecessors as captain, legendary allrounder Kapil Dev, says Kohli needs to perform against the swinging Dukes ball to be considered among the best Test batsmen in the world.
"The bar which we as cricketers set for these people is that you have to be good in all conditions," Kapil said this week.
"That's what we used to say about Allan Border or Vivian Richards or Sunil Gavaskar - they were players to play any part, anywhere, any kind of conditions, they used to perform.
"Virat Kohli, the question mark, is in front of him, it's there. He has to get runs where it is considered to be the toughest conditions in the world."
Kohli is currently resting from India's T20 tri-series in Sri Lanka having pushed through an exhausting summer that culminated in a tour of South Africa.
Despite his jam-packed schedule, Kapil believes a stint playing domestically for an English county side would only help Kohli's chances of breaking through in the Test series.
"Practice makes a man perfect, one has to practice to those conditions," Kapil said.
"What we're seeing, with his temperament, I think he's good enough (to score runs in England). It all depends if he gets a good start. He has the ability.
"If he can play a season or two in English county cricket there would be nothing wrong (with that) because if you want to be the best player in the world you have to get runs everywhere."
India's Test series against England will begin at Edgbaston on August 1 before Tests at Lord's, Trent Bridge, the Rose Bowl and The Oval.
VIRAT KOHLI (Tests)
M: 32 | R: 2921 | Ave: 63.50 | 100s: 10 | 50s: 10 | HS: 243
M: 8 | R: 992 | Ave: 62.00 | 100s: 5 | 50s: 2 | HS: 169
In South Africa
M: 5 | R: 558 | Ave: 55.80 | 100s: 2 | 50s: 2 | HS: 153
In Sri Lanka
M: 6 | R: 394 | Ave: 43.77 | 100s: 2 | 50s: 1 | HS: 103*
In West Indies
M: 7 | R: 327 | Ave: 36.33 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 0 | HS: 200
In New Zealand
M: 2 | R: 214 | Ave: 71.33 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 1 | HS: 105*
M: 5 | R: 134 | Ave: 13.40 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 0 | HS: 39
M: 1 | R: 14 | Ave: 14.00 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 0 | HS: 14