The captain of the Indian cricket team, Virat Kohli has opened up about battling depression during a distressing tour in England in 2014.
In a conversation with former England player Mark Nicholas on his ‘Not Just Cricket’ podcast, Kohli confessed that he had a really tough phase during this particular tour and that he “felt like the loneliest guy in the world”.
He was asked if he had suffered from depression during that time. “Yes, I did,” he replied, “…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,”.
Kohli’s scores in the 10 innings in England were extremely low, as he registered scores of 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0,7, 6, and 20 in five Tests, averaging 13.40.
“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 confessed.
The work goes on 👊👊 pic.twitter.com/3AHPP0dpvN
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) February 12, 2021
Kohli 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?'” Kohli said. “Lot of people suffer from 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 that despite having supportive people in your life, you can still feel alone, and to overcome that, professional help is required.
“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,” Kohli explained.
“I strongly feel the need for professional help there to be very honest,” he added.
Captain Kohli then made a great comeback in the tour of Australia after that, accumulating 692 runs in the Test series.