Sourav Ganguly reckoned that missing the county stint could be a blessing in disguise for Virat Kohli. © Getty Images

Sourav Ganguly reckoned that missing the county stint could be a blessing in disguise for Virat Kohli. © Getty Images

Sourav Ganguly on Sunday (June 25) said Virat Kohli was ‘panicky’ in his preparation for India’s upcoming tour of England. 

Kohli, who slumped to his lowest point four years ago in England, had signed a county deal with Surrey to better acclimatise for the five-Test series. The Indian skipper, however, couldn’t keep his commitment after sustaining a neck injury during IPL 2018. 

“Kohli is a fantastic player. He will do well this time. I am happy that he did not play county cricket before the England series,” Ganguly told PTI. “I think he was eager to play county (ahead of the series) because he was panicky after not having a good tour last time around. He is too good a player to miss out this time.”

The former India skipper reckoned that missing the county stint could be a blessing in disguise as a break from the game would have refreshed the current captain completely. 

Since the 2014 tour, where he scored 134 runs in 10 Tests innings, Kohli’s career has been on the upswing with successful individual runs in South Africa and Australia. 

“India’s chances are bright but England are also in good form. It will be a closely contested series,” Ganguly said.

Switching to the topic of two news balls per innings in One-Day Internationals, Ganguly seconded Sachin Tendulkar’s view, insisting that eliminating the possibility of reverse-swing wasn’t good for the bowlers and for the game in turn.     

“Yes, two news balls do take reverse-swing out of the picture because the ball doesn’t get old enough to reverse,” he offered. “Reverse-swing is also dying because the grounds are a lot greener today. The balls don’t get scuffed up enough. They don’t get dry and rough on one side for the reverse to happen.”

The two new balls conversation has taken centrestage since England amassed 481 in an ODI against Australia in Nottingham on June 19. Ganguly also blamed Australia’s rotation policy for the run glut. “500 runs in 50 overs is terrible. Bowling has to find a way. I don’t understand why the best bowlers don’t play. Wasim (Akram) and Waqar (Younis) played ODIs and Tests all together, so did (Glenn) McGrath and (Brett) Lee and (Shaun) Pollock and (Allan) Donald. All played at the same time. I don’t understand having a separate set of bowlers for Tests and ODIs,” he said.

“It (481/6 in England) was a poor advert of cricket. Every over had three boundaries. You cannot have Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood not play. So the best of players have to play. Nathan Lyon mostly plays Tests, doesn’t play ODIs. Shane Warne played everything, so did Anil (Kumble) and (Muttiah) Muralitharan.”