Recently some former cricketers, including ex-Australia captain Michael Clarke, had questioned Virat Kohli's decision to miss the Afghanistan Test and instead play county cricket to prepare for the tour of England.
The 29-year-old Indian cricket team captain added he keeps a good balance between his personal and professional lives despite his chock-a-block schedules. "This is Afghanistan's first match, and they must be very keen to establish themselves at the global level", Vengsarkar said here on Friday while launching a cricket event organised by the School Games Federation of India (SGFI). The last England tour was not good for him, so he is very keen to do well this time.
A former chairman of the national selection committee and one who fast-tracked Kolhi's global debut, Vengsarkar played 13 Tests in England, scored four centuries (three at Lord's) and as many half centuries.
"I think since the side is Afghanistan, he has chosen to play county". I try to catch up with friends, watch a movie or go out for a drive. Playing in India against Afghanistan, for the time, makes no sense.
"If I was a selector, I would've asked (Cheteshwar) Pujara also to stay back and play county cricket because these are the guys who're going to play in England".
Vengsarkar, though, is pleased with the itinerary scheduled in England. So, it's a good thing. The last time in in South Africa, the team hardly got a match before the first Test. "So, the England tour is nicely scheduled", he said.
Acknowledging Kohli's rise in the last four years, Vengsarkar said: "He is the best batsman in the world".
Kohli will skip Afghanistan's first-ever Test, in Bangalore against India, to play county cricket in preparation for a high-profile England tour starting July - a decision India's cricket board has defended.
On whether India could defeat England, Vengsarkar said, "Yes I expect a lot from the tour of England simply because we have got fast bowlers and lots options in fast bowlers which was not the case before".
While wicketkeeping mainstay MS Dhoni has been in ominous form throughout the ongoing Indian Premier League, the performances of wicketkeeper-batsmen like Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson have been good for Indian cricket. So we expect a lot of things from him. Of course, England your will be "the tour" for him.
A member of the 1983 ODI World Cup-winning team, Vengsarkar, though, praised the itinerary of the Indian team and backed Kohli and Co.to do well.
All in all, Vengsarkar sounded confident of India's chances this time around, given the fact that they now have the pace bowlers who can indeed get the job done. "I have come through the ranks of junior cricket, making my way to Ranji trophy and then the Indian team". "Since our fast bowlers are very good at the global level, I expect India will be able to beat England in England". We have a balanced team.