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Virat Kohli Opens up on Battle With Depression: ‘Felt like I Was The Loneliest Guy in World’

Virat Kohli believes mental health issues cannot be overlooked as they can destroy a person's career.

Updated: February 19, 2021 9:38 PM IST

By Sports Desk | Edited by Aditya Maheshwari

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (© IANS)

Team India skipper Virat Kohli revealed that he suffered depression after a disastrous tour of England in 2014. Kohli had a tough time with the bat against England in the 2014 Test series as he registered scores of 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0,7, 6 and 20 in five Tests, averaging 13.50 in his 10 innings.

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Veteran English pacer James Anderson made it difficult for Kohli to survive in the middle during the England tour as he was constantly edging his deliveries behind the stumps during the tour.

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In a conversation with former England player Mark Nicholas on his ‘Not Just Cricket’ podcast, Kohli conceded that went through a tough phase during the particularly difficult tour.

“Yes, I did,” was his response when asked whether he had suffered from depression at the time.

“…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,” he recalled.

Kohli claims that he felt like the ‘loneliest guy in the world’ at the moment as he wasn’t able to overturn the things in his favour.

“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,” he said of the England tour.

Kohli opened up on the time further and said he has supportive people in his life at that moment but claims he needed some professional help.

“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.”

Kohli claims that several players the problem of depression through various stages of the game and some of the them failed to get out of it. He believes mental health issues cannot be overlooked as they can destroy a person’s career.

“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,” Kohli said.

The Indian captain feels professional help is necessary to battle depression.

“I strongly feel the need for professional help there to be very honest,” he added.

However, Kohli bounced back like a warrior from the difficult phase in his life as he slammed 692 runs in the Test series against Australia Down Under later in 2014.

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Published Date: February 19, 2021 2:23 PM IST

Updated Date: February 19, 2021 9:38 PM IST