There was a point in Virat Kohli’s career when he said had felt terribly low. Kohli was referring to his disastrous tour of England in 2014 when he returned scores of 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0, 7, 6 and 20 in five Tests, averaging 13.40 in 10 innings.
“I have gone through a phase in my career where I had felt that it was the end of the world. I just didn’t know what to do and what to say to anyone, how to speak, how to communicate. To be honest, I couldn’t have said that I am not feeling great mentally and I need to get away from the game. Because you never know how that’s taken,” said Kohli at Indore on Wednesday.
Kohli was replying to how he felt about Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell taking a break from cricket to deal with mental health issues. Maxwell, 31, pulled out towards the end of October. His announcement was accompanied by a statement from Cricket Australia’s sports psychologist Dr Michael Lloyd. Nic Maddinson, Victoria’s 27-year-old opening batsman, followed Maxwell citing similar reasons. Last February, 21-year-old Will Pucovski, another Victoria batsman, was left out of the Australia Test squad for Sri Lanka due to mental health concerns.
Need to speak out
“To be very honest, you guys have a job to do. We guys have a job to do and everyone is focused on what we need to do. It is very difficult to figure out what’s going on in another person’s mind. So, when you get to the international stage, every player that’s in the squad needs that communication – that ability to speak out. I think what Glenn has done is remarkable. He set the right example for cricketers all over the world,” said Kohli. “If you are not in best frame of mind, you try, try and try, but as human beings you reach a tipping point at some stage or the other and you need time.”