With the current structure, very difficult to stay motivated and find that mental space: Virat Kohli

Tags: ICC World Test Championship Final 2021, India, New Zealand, Virat Kohli

Published on: Jun 02, 2021

Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Wednesday admitted that the mental well-being of players must be looked after in the current scenario of COVID-19, where players are constantly holed up in bio-bubbles. India have a tight schedule coming up. After the World Test Championship (WTC) Final against New Zealand at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, India will play five Tests against England starting in August. On the other hand, the limited-overs team will be in Sri Lanka in July for three ODIs and three T20Is.

Speaking ahead of Indian team’s departure for the UK, Kohli said that the management is okay with players asking for breaks of they are not feeling okay. The Indian skipper stated, “With the current structure and the kind of structure we are competing inside, it is very difficult to stay motivated and find that mental space, being confined in one area and just doing the stuff day in and day out and dealing with pressure situations. This will definitely become a norm of the future, apart from the workload, the mental aspect will also come into the picture big time.”

“Because you do not have an outlet at all in today’s age. You are literally going to the ground and coming back to your room. You do not have space to disconnect from the game and step out for a walk. This is a huge factor that should not be neglected. As much hard work, we have done to create this team, you do not want players falling out because of not being able to have that capacity. You have to keep the channel open, we have done that and players can say that they need a break if they are not feeling okay,” he further added.

There have been some questioned raised about the long break for the Indian team after the end of the WTC final. While the WTC final will end of June 22, the first Test against England will start on August 4. Kohli, however, felt that the gap could actually work in India’s favour.

“I feel like after you are done with WTC, I think it is a great opportunity to refresh and restructure, hopefully, if things are okay, just for the guys to be normal and disconnect again, to understand that we have the pressure of a five-match series. Like in Australia, if we had to contest in a bubble for that long period, it would have been tough,” said Kohli.

“Just the fact that we had the freedom to go out and access the kind of things there, it gave us space to refresh and reset. I think it is absolutely fine, it will give us time to refresh and prepare for a long series. That kind of setup is important before you go to a lengthy series. The challenge in England can be daunting, so we want to have the time before that series,” he further added.

After arriving in the UK on June 3, the Indian team will head to the on-site hotel at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton, where they will be placed in managed isolation and will have to continue undergoing COVID-19 tests.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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