Fielding two Indian squads simultaneously will become a norm for the future, reckons Virat Kohli

India’s second-string squad will travel to Sri Lanka for three ODIs and as many T20Is in July.

Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri addressed the media before departing for the England tour | BCCISkipper Virat Kohli on Wednesday (June 2) supported the idea of fielding two Indian squads simultaneously, considering the mentally draining world of bio-bubbles that cricketers are forced to live amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

WATCH: “He is slimmer, fitter and only 5.5k runs richer”, Ravi Shastri on Virat Kohli of 2014 vs now

During the upcoming England tour, the Kohli-led side will play the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand in Southampton (June 18-22) followed by a five-match Test series versus England in Nottingham, London, Leeds and Manchester (August 4-September 14).

With star players being away in England, India’s second-string squad will travel to Sri Lanka for three ODIs and as many T20Is in July.

"With the current structure and the kind of structure that you're competing inside for a long period of time, it's very difficult for the players to stay motivated and find the right kind of mental space," Kohli said while addressing the media before departing for England tour.

"You know just confined in one area and just doing the stuff, day in day out when you're dealing with high pressure situations. So, this (two squads) will definitely become a norm for the future," he added.

Before boarding the flight, the Indian squad had to serve two-week quarantine in Mumbai and will do a soft quarantine upon landing in UK.

Players around the world have spoken about the challenges of playing series and tournaments by being restricted to hotels and stadiums.

"Apart from the workloads, the mental health side of things will also come into the picture big time because you don't have an outlet at all," said Kohli.

"In today's day and age you literally go into the ground, come back to the room, and you have no space where you can just disconnect from the game and just go out for a walk or go out for a meal or a coffee and say, 'okay, let me refresh myself, let me just get away from the game a little bit'.

"So I think this is a huge factor which should not be neglected. Because as much hard work as we've done to create this team, you don't want players falling out because of the mental pressures and not having the capacity or the space to express themselves."

Kohli endorsed players asking for breaks to address mental health issues.

"So I think there has to always be a channel over which the management has left it for players to approach them and tell them, 'Look, I'm not feeling right in the head, and I just need a break and I just want to disconnect from the game'.

"So I think that's going to be a huge factor and I'm sure that the management understands that," said the skipper.

(With PTI inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 03 Jun, 2021

    Share Via