Clarke said that during his career, he always prioritised playing for his country. "I gave up every other opportunity to play for whatever franchise or other teams.
Former Australian captain Michael Clarke, while criticising Virat Kohli’s decision of choosing county cricket over one-off Test against Afghanistan said he was surprised by the call. “I am really surprised by Kohli’s decision to skip one-off test against Afghanistan. I think a test match is a test match. I don’t care who we play against. To represent your country is the most special feeling in the world,” Clarke said during an interactive session with cricket historian Boria Majumdar at the session organised by the Indian Chambers of Commerce
Clarke said that during his career, he always prioritised playing for his country. “I gave up every other opportunity to play for whatever franchise or other teams,” he said. Michael Clarke feels that Virat Kohli should fly back from Surrey to play the historic one-off test against Afghanistan in Bengaluru.
However, BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary after critics started charging at Virat urged them to understand the real intent behind the decision. Supporting Virat Kohli, he said, “We have taken this decision to allow Virat as well as some others to give them a fair opportunity of getting accustomed to English playing conditions. Basically, it is not the shorter format but the longer one. Our focus remains test cricket and we continue to believe that this is one format which is normally the genesis of cricket in the world and it is something we need to nurse all time.”
This decision came in the wake of Kohli’s last England tour in 2014 in which he could make only 134 runs in five test matches at an average of 13.4. This time by playing for Surrey, he is looking to get accustomed to English playing conditions and improve his performance.
Clarke, however, surprised backed Kohli’s decision to play for county cricket and said it shows his intention to win in England.
“Definitely, it’s a fantastic preparation and it shows his determination and how hungry he is to perform individually and how much he wants India to be successful. its sending a clear message to his teammates and England that he wants to have a successful tour of UK. He wants to win that series,” Clarke said.
The historic one-off test against Afghanistan will be played from June 14 to 18.