'Felt like the loneliest guy': Virat Kohli opens up on battle with depression

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Feb 19, 2021, 03:12 PM(IST)

'Felt like the loneliest guy': Virat Kohli opens up on battle with depression Photograph:( AFP )

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Virat Kohli, who is regarded as one of the best batsmen to have ever played cricket, has opened up about his battle with depression during India's tour of England, where the swashbuckling batsman went through the worst form of his life.  

Virat Kohli, who is regarded as one of the best batsmen to have ever played cricket, has opened up about his battle with depression during India's tour of England, where the swashbuckling batsman went through the worst form of his life.  

The Indian skipper has revealed how he felt he was the "loneliest guy in the world" as he narrated his struggle during India's tour of England in 2014, where he averaged a mere 13.50 in 10 innings – his lowest in a series with more than three Tests.  

When asked by former England first-class cricketer and a renowned commentator Nicholas on his 'Not Just Cricket' podcast, whether he had suffered from depression during India's tour of England in 2014, Kohli answered "Yes, I did".  

Kohli had returned with 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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"...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. 

However, showing his class, Kohli roared back to form in India's next immediate assignment – a tour of Australia – where he hammered 692 runs in the Test series. 

"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.  

"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.  

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"I think I would like to see it change,” Kohli responded as he said that mental health issues should be an important topic in everyone's life. 

"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. 

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

(With PTI inputs) 

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