Virat Kohli felt like the “loneliest guy in the world” when he went through a stretch of five Tests on the England tour in 2014 without a half-century. In a conversation with former England player Mark Nicholas on his ‘Not Just Cricket’ podcast, Virat Kohli conceded that he went through a tough phase during the particularly difficult tour.
Virat Kohli scored only 134 runs averaging a meagre 13.4 in 10 innings finding it tough to adjust against the line, length, seam, and bounce of England pacers James Anderson who dismissed him 4 times. Each of Stuart Broad and Chris Jordan dismissed him twice while each of Liam Plunkett and Moeen Ali dismissed him once.
Virat Kohli Thinks All Batsman Have Felt At Some Stage One Isn’t In Control Of Anything At All And Doesn’t Know How To Get Over The Phase
In the next England tour in 2018, Virat Kohli scored 593 runs scoring two tons and missing out on a century by a whisker at Trent Bridge.
“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 said about his mental state at the time.
“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.”
Virat Kohli, who described the 2014 tour as the lowest point in his career, remembers feeling alone despite having established himself as a key member of the Test side by then. In hindsight, he looks back at that phase as one where he needed professional help but didn’t seek it.
“Personally, for me that was a revelation that you could feel that lonely even though you a part of a big group,” he said. “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 is a huge factor.”
“I think I would like to see it change. Someone whom you can go to at any stage, have a conversation around and say ‘Listen this is what I am feeling, I am finding it hard to even go to sleep, I feel like I don’t want to wake up in the morning. I have no confidence in myself, what do I do?’
This is something Virat Kohli touched upon earlier too, in a chat with Kevin Pietersen, when he said he wanted India’s young cricketers to not commit the same mistakes as he did, in not seeking help.
“All the younger guys listening, because I was too focused on doing well from a personal point of view, I wanted to get runs,” he had told Pietersen in an Instagram live.
“I could never think of what the team wants me to do in this situation. I just got too engulfed with England tour – if I perform here, Test cricket, in my mind I’m going to feel established and all that crap on the outside, which is not important at all. It just ate me up. I just kept going into a downward spiral and I just couldn’t get out of it. Horrible.”
Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore was the only team that travelled to the IPL in UAE last year with a psychologist. At the time, he had underlined the importance of having someone in the setup to help players deal with the rigours of being in a biosecure bubble for three months.
The franchise RCB bought Australian heavy-hitter, Glenn Maxwell, for ₹14.25 crore, despite the horror he had in the UAE in IPL 2020. But he was not the most expensive buy for the franchise.
RCB bought allrounder Daniel Christian for ₹4.8 crores after a bidding war with Kolkata Knight Riders, who appears to be a like-for-like replacement for Chris Morris. RCB bought New Zealand pacer Kyle Jamieson for ₹15 crores, making him one of the most expensive players in IPL history.
Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Suyash Prabhudesai, and KS Bharat were the uncapped players bought by RCB at the auctions.