Indian captain Virat Kohli has revealed that he was under severe depression during the ill-fated England tour of 2014, which is perhaps the worst tour in Kohli’s career. He had managed just 134 runs in 10 innings of the five Tests and made 54 runs in 4 ODI matches.
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 had a disastrous tour of England in 2014, registering scores of 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0,7, 6, and 20 in five Tests, averaging 13.50 in his 10 innings.
“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,” he said of the England tour.
“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 said.
Kohli roared back into form on the tour of Australia later that year, making 692 runs in the four-Test series and also took over as Test captain from MS Dhoni, who retired midway into the series.
“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 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 on his battle with depression.
“I strongly feel the need for professional help there to be very honest,” he added.