Kohli Agree To Follow Ben Stoke’s Mental Health Example
Unless holes are established in a congested global game schedule, India skipper Virat Kohli feels more players would follow the example of England all-rounder Ben Stokes.
“prioritize his mental health”
Stokes will miss the forthcoming five-Test series against India, which begins at Trent Bridge on Friday, as he takes an extended hiatus from cricket to “prioritize his mental health” in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Since losing the inaugural World Test Championship final against New Zealand at Southampton in June, India has had several weeks of rest, except for one tour match.
Kohli, like Stokes, is a multi-format international who plays for one of the most in-demand teams in the world, and he was pleased to get off the treadmill, telling a conference calendar.
“This break was important because you get little time to switch off.”
“And also because you recently saw Stokes took a break from cricket and we have been operating in a bubble in the last one-and-a-half years.”
“It is not easy and periodic breaks like these are important in my opinion, to take people away from the game and bring them back refreshed.”
“In the current environment it is a stressful job to be a captain and manage a team and on top of that you confine a player to a bubble then things become complicated.”
“So I think these periodic breaks are important going ahead for cricket and cricketers because otherwise, it will be difficult to maintain the quality of cricket.”
“So like he (Stokes) took a break, many more players will take a break in the future at some stage. They can get tired due to the bubble life.”
“How important was the break to us? — we understand now as we go fresh into this series. We are going in with an exciting mindset and feel we are good to go for the five Tests.”
Although India has only won two of their last 14 Tests in England
“For us, it’s all about wanting tough cricket and wanting to win in conditions which are not ours.”
Kohli — without a Test hundred in nearly two years — is, however, one of several India players who have previously toured England.
“Look, you can have all the experience in the world. It all boils down to execution in crunch moments,” he said.
“I’ve loved every moment of it.”
“In my opinion, you cannot you cannot play at this level for a long period of time if you’re not literally wanting to be in situations which are absolutely opposite of what your comfort zone is.”
Kohli’s pacemen may be as enthralled by the English conditions as the hosts’ attack.
During a 3-1 series win over Joe Root’s side at home earlier this year on predominantly spin-friendly surfaces, India undoubtedly outplayed England’s batsmen.
“That all depends on the batsman who is walking out, how much scarring they carry with them,” Kohli said.
“I can vouch for the fact that we definitely have the ability to bowl them out consistently.”
Meanwhile, Kohli stated categorically that he has no desire to follow in the footsteps of Ajit Wadekar (1971), Kapil Dev (1986), or Rahul Dravid (2007) as a series-winning India captain in England for the sake of it.
“We are going to play with the same passion, same commitment, same belief that we play every series with,” he said.
“Few series matters more than some others. I don’t really believe in these things, because then you are really, picking and choosing what you want to do.
“And that’s not being honest to the game, in my opinion.”