'I felt alone': India cricket star Virat Kohli opens up about mental health struggle

Indian cricket superstar Virat Kohli, who took his team to unprecedented heights, says he has struggled with his mental health throughout his career, local media reported Thursday.

The 33-year-old ex-captain built a reputation for in-your-face aggression and exemplary batting, leading his team to the top of the Test rankings.

But the man dubbed “King” Kohli by Indian media has been plagued by a run of poor form and has been relieved of his captaincy of all formats since late last year after a dismal showing at the Twenty20 World Cup.

Kohli told The Indian Express newspaper that the pressure of his career had at times had a negative impact on his mental health.

“I personally have experienced times when even in a room full of people who support and love me, I felt alone, and I am sure that this is a feeling that a lot of people can relate to,” he said in an interview published Wednesday.

“It is definitely a serious issue and as much as we try to be strong at all times, it can tear you apart.”

'i felt alone': india cricket star virat kohli opens up about mental health struggle

Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Virat Kohli was out for a first-ball duck against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday, May 8, 2022. Sportzpics for IPL

'i felt alone': india cricket star virat kohli opens up about mental health struggle

Jagadeesha Suchith of Sunrisers Hyderabad celebrates the wicket of Virat Kohli at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Sportzpics for IPL

'i felt alone': india cricket star virat kohli opens up about mental health struggle

Jagadeesha Suchith and his Sunrisers Hyderabad teammates celebrate the wicket of Virat Kohli. Sportzpics for IPL

'i felt alone': india cricket star virat kohli opens up about mental health struggle

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Faf Du Plessis scored an unbeaten fifty against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Sportzpics for IPL

'i felt alone': india cricket star virat kohli opens up about mental health struggle

Rajat Patidar and Faf Du Plessis starred in a century stand on Sunday. Sportzpics for IPL

'i felt alone': india cricket star virat kohli opens up about mental health struggle

Dinesh Karthik smashed 30 off just eight balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday. Sportzpics for IPL

'i felt alone': india cricket star virat kohli opens up about mental health struggle

Virat Kohli’s form is a serious concern for Royal Challengers Bangalore and India. Sportzpics for IPL

Kohli said it was important for athletes to rest and recover from the pressures of sport and reconnect with their “core self”.

“If you lose that connection, it wouldn’t take very long for other things to crumble around you.”

His comments came just months after he revealed he had struggled with depression after failing to score runs during an England tour in 2014.

“It’s not a great feeling to wake up knowing that you won’t be able to score runs … I felt I was the loneliest guy in the world,” he said on a podcast with English commentator Mark Nicholas in February.

Kohli, one of the world’s highest-paid athletes, has not scored a century in any format since 2019.

After being rested for the recent West Indies tour, he has now been named in India’s T20 squad for the Asia Cup in the UAE that starts with a match against arch-rivals Pakistan.

'i felt alone': india cricket star virat kohli opens up about mental health struggle

India’s Virat Kohli celebrates the wicket of South Africa’s Kyle Verreynne on the first day of the third Test against South Africa on January 12, 2022. Reuters

'i felt alone': india cricket star virat kohli opens up about mental health struggle

Kohli top-scored with 79 in the first innings of the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town. Reuters

'i felt alone': india cricket star virat kohli opens up about mental health struggle

Kohli congratulates Rassie van der Dussen after South Africa beat India in the Test series on Friday. AP

'i felt alone': india cricket star virat kohli opens up about mental health struggle

Indian captain Virat Kohli congratulates South Africa’s Temba Bavuma on hitting the winning runs in the third Test. AP

'i felt alone': india cricket star virat kohli opens up about mental health struggle

India’s Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant claim for a wicket against South Africa. Reuters

'i felt alone': india cricket star virat kohli opens up about mental health struggle

Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara during the third Test against South Africa. Reuters

'i felt alone': india cricket star virat kohli opens up about mental health struggle

Virat Kohli celebrates after Kannur Rahul takes the wicket of Aiden Markram during the third Test match against South Africa. AP

'i felt alone': india cricket star virat kohli opens up about mental health struggle

Kohli plays a shot during the third day of the third Test. AP

'i felt alone': india cricket star virat kohli opens up about mental health struggle

Rishabh Pant is congratulated by India captain Kohli. AFP

'i felt alone': india cricket star virat kohli opens up about mental health struggle

Virat Kohli plays a shot. Getty

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