Kohli says he’s fit to lead India on England tour

Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, right and head coach Ravi Shastri address the media ahead of the teams travel to England and Ireland in New Delhi, India, Friday, June 22, 2018. (Manish Swarup)

NEW DELHI (AP) Virat Kohli has recovered from a neck injury and will lead India on the cricket tour of Ireland and England.

Kohli had to cancel a contract with English county team Surrey for this month after he was injured while fielding in the Indian Premier League in mid-May. The injury hasn’t been specified. He played the next IPL match then had to rest and recover. He faced a fitness test.

”I’m 100 percent ready to go. Neck is fine,” the captain said at a pre-tour news conference on Friday, the day before the team departs.

”I have passed the fitness test and (am) excited to get back on the field.”

The injury has alarmed the Indians because Kohli wasn’t a factor in his last test series in England in 2014, when he scored only 134 runs in 10 innings.

He said India was prepared for ”some difficult cricket” in England.

Asked about the swing bowling conditions in England that have troubled India in the past, Kohli said India will be able to counter all threats because it was a very balanced side.

”India’s cricket is in a very exciting phase, especially after victories in South Africa,” he said. South Africa won the test series 2-1 and India won the one-day internationals 5-1 this year.

India opens with Twenty20s in Dublin next Wednesday and Friday, then moves to England for three T20s, three ODIs, and five tests into September.

India lost the last two test series in England in 2011 and 2014, and last won in 2007.