Current Indian skipper Virat Kohli is undoubtedly one of the greatest batsmen to ever play the game of cricket. However, even the best of the best go through lean patches in their career and Kohli was no exception. The batsman struggled a great deal in 2014 with his form especially in a horror tour of England. The 32-year-old has now opened up on how he felt during the tour and how he was depressed at the time.
The Test series against England saw Kohli not crossing 40 in any of the 10 innings that he played. He registered 6 single-digit scores as well. The English bowling attack led by James Anderson toyed with him and had his number throughout as they kept getting him out by bowling just outside off-stump. Despite the failure in England, Kohli came roaring back and the rest is history as he has etched his name in cricket folklore as a modern-day great.
‘It’s not a great feeling’ – Virat Kohli reflects
Virat Kohli spoke to commentator Mark Nicholas on his podcast, Not Just Cricket about the disastrous tour of England and how it affected his mental health. When asked if he suffered from depression, Kohli said, “Yes I did. It’s not a great feeling to wake up knowing that you won’t be able to score runs and I think all batsmen have felt that at some stage that you are not in control of anything at all. You just don’t understand how to get over it. That was a phase when I literally couldn’t do anything to overturn things…I felt like I was the loneliest guy in the world.”
“Personally, for me that was a revelation that you could feel that lonely even though you a part of a big group. I won’t say I didn’t have people who I could speak to but not having a professional to speak to who could understand what I am going through completely, I think is a huge factor. I think I would like to see it change,” he added.
Speaking further about the importance of addressing mental health issues, he said, “Someone whom you can go to at any stage, have a conversation around and say ‘Listen this is what I am feeling, I am finding it hard to even go to sleep, I feel like I don’t want to wake up in the morning. I have no confidence in myself, what do I do?’ Lot of people suffer with that feeling for longer periods of time, it carries on for months, it carries on for a whole cricket season, people are not able to get out of it. I strongly feel the need for professional help there to be very honest.”