Virat Kohli talks about his struggles with mental health

Virat Kohli opened up about his feelings and talked about his struggles with mental health and how he coped with it in a general interview.

Virat Kohli is all set to return to cricket when India take on Pakistan in the second match of the Asia Cup 2022. The Indian star has been on a bit of a roll lately and has been rested for the West Indies and Zimbabwe tour.

Now, fresh from a month off, Kohli is gearing up to go and will look to find his old form in the Asia Cup and the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

Ahead of his return, the former Indian captain spoke candidly about his recent struggles and how they took a toll on him mentally, so much so that he was completely sidelined for a month.

“For the first time in 10 years I didn’t touch my bat for a month,” Kohli said while talking about. Star Sports. “When I sat down and thought about it, I was like, ‘wow, I haven’t touched a bat in 30 days.’ I’ve never done that in my life.

“I realized I was trying to fake my intensity a little bit lately. I was convincing myself that no, you had the intensity. But your body is telling you to stop. Your mind is telling me to take a break and step back.

“I understand what Ravi bro [Ravi Shastri] has mentioned [about taking a break]. He’s also mentioned about the workloads, the volume of cricket, how I’ve played 40 or 50% more in the last 10 years than everyone else. It is very easy to ignore all these things.

“They look at me as a guy who has been very strong mentally and I am. But everyone has a limit and you need to know that limit or things can get unhealthy for you.

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“This period actually taught me a lot of things that I wasn’t letting come to the surface. When they finally came, I hugged him.”

“There is much more to life than just your profession. Or when the environment around you is such that everyone only looks at your professional identity, somewhere you start to lose perspective as a human being”.

Kohli, who will play his 100th T20I against Pakistan on Sunday, detailed how the hectic schedule affected his love for the practice.

“I’ve always been a guy who follows his heart since day one. I’ve never wanted or tried to be someone else, which I have been in this last phase. I’ve tried to keep up with demands and expectations , which I have not really inner being completely, which this stage [away from the game] allowed me to do.

“I was experiencing that I’m not excited to train, I’m not excited to practice, and it really bothered me because that’s not who I am, and I literally needed to get out of that environment.”

The India star added that the month-long break helped him rejuvenate and rediscover his love for training.

“When you get involved in an environment like that, you can’t see anything. When you get out of there, that’s when you realize what’s happening to you. And it’s been a great vacation. I’ve never had such a long vacation and first thing i know i woke up in the morning and i was excited to go to the gym.

“It’s not like, ‘oh, I’ve got to get on with this.’ So that was my first sign. You can tend to get carried away with so many demands these days. You’ve seen the results of what happened to Ben.Stokes and Trent Boult… Moeen [Ali] retiring from Test cricket. These are not anomalies, but they do happen, and people who are in contact with them know what is happening in their lives.

“I’m light now for sure, and it wasn’t just for the workload of cricket,” Kohli said.

Elaborating that he couldn’t naturally display his intensity, Kohli said he didn’t even realize he was faking it.

“I’m a person who wakes up and feels like, ‘Okay, let’s see what the day has in store for me,’ and be a part of everything. My day-to-day involves absolute presence, involvement, and that’s what I’ve always been.

“People ask me how you do it on the pitch and how you keep it going with so much intensity, I just tell them I love playing the game and I love the fact that I have so much to contribute with every ball, and I’d give every inch of my energy on the field and for me it never felt abnormal.

Kohli said he was the kind of person who would help his team “win at all costs”, even if it meant he was “out of breath” at the end of it all.

“It wasn’t happening naturally. I had to push myself. I didn’t know… I had become an ideal athlete to watch. I’m so grateful that so many people are inspired because of me. , but I can’t stop being human because of this.

“I understand why people love and support you, it’s because you’ve always been yourself, and even in these moments, I’m not ashamed to admit that I was feeling down and that’s a very normal thing to feel.

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“I’m human at the end of the day and this should be a thing or a space for people to say, ‘If he can go through this, relax, it’s normal to feel this way’. It’s not abnormal, talk about it and discuss it with people No one will think you are weak

“You’ll get help from people you never imagined, but we don’t talk because we’re hesitant. We don’t want to be seen as weak-minded. Trust me, pretending to be strong is much worse than that. I “I feel no shame that I was feeling weak mentally.”

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