Virat Kohli on mental health: Failure in England 2014 felt like end of the world

Virat Kohli has backed Maxwell's decision to take a break to deal with mental health issues, while sharing his own experience from India's tour of England in 2014.

Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, who took a sabbatical to sort out mental health problems, has found support in India captain Virat Kohli.   -  R. V. MOORTHY

Workload management is a talking point in international cricket post the T20 thunder. A month after England wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor — who was battling anxiety issues — announced retirement, Glenn Maxwell took a sabbatical to sort out mental health problems.

The Australia all-rounder has found support in India captain Virat Kohli who feels “it is acceptable”.

“I am absolutely for it. Everyone is focused on their jobs. It is difficult to know what is going in the other person’s mind. I have also gone through a phase in my career when I thought it’s the end of the world. In England 2014, I didn’t know what to do, what to say to anyone, how to speak or how to communicate.

“I couldn’t have said I am not feeling great and I need to get away from the game. You never know how that is taken. These things should be of great importance,” said Kohli ahead of the first Test against Bangladesh that starts on Thursday.

READ| Coach Langer says Maxwell’s jovial persona was a mask

Proper communication

Kohli, in his career, has been wise in choosing rest days. When he isn’t around, Rohit Sharma leads the side and that has been the standard practice for a while.

He took a break after the five Test matches — against the West Indies and South Africa respectively — in the World Test Championship to come back fresh against Bangladesh.

“If you think a player is important enough for Indian cricket, he should be looked after. At the international stage, every player needs that communication and the ability to speak up. What Glenn has done is remarkable. If you are not in the best frame of mind, you try and try but as human beings, you reach a tipping point at some stage or the other.

“These things should be respected and not taken negatively. This is happening at the human level and not what you do on the field. It can happen to any person,” he said.