Felt like the loneliest guy in the world – Virat Kohli reveals battle with depression

Virat Kohli has revealed his battle with mental health and insists cricketers should be allowed to seek professional help.

Nived Zenith Author

Updated - 19 February 2021 10:40 pm

Team India skipper Virat Kohli has opened up on his personal battle with depression. In an age where the mental aspect of the game is hugely-significant, Kohli did not hold back his experience.

Even though there is stigma surrounding mental health, Kohli was open and keen to talk about it to a larger audience. By his own admission in Mark Nicholas’ podcast, the battle with depression unfolded when India toured England in 2014.

Kohli endured a forgetful run of form during the series after returning scores of 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0, 7, 6 and 20 in 10 innings, averaging just 13.50. Owing to his demoralizing display with the bat, Kohli admitted to have undergone a state of depression.

“…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,” Kohli recalled.

“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.”

Strongly feel the need for professional help in such situation: Kohli

Following his revelation, Kohli insisted that he is an advocate for seeking professional help for mental health issues like depression. He firmly believes cricketers should also be given the space to handle it professionally rather than holding it up inside.

"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 it is a huge factor,” Kohli added.

“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. I strongly feel the need for professional help there to be very honest.”

Kohli and Team India will return to action on February 24, when they lock horns with England in the pink-ball Test in Ahmedabad. The 32-year-old has scored 145 runs in four innings during the ongoing series.