IPL

Kohli considering break to 'rejuvenate mentally and physically' amid slump in form

By Sports Desk May 19, 2022

India star Virat Kohli might take a break to "rejuvenate mentally and physically", but assures he is in "the happiest phase of my life".

Kohli stepped down as India's Test captain in January following a series defeat to South Africa, having already relinquished his role as skipper of his country's white-ball teams.

The 33-year-old has struggled for form in 2022, averaging 21.45 in the ongoing Indian Premier League before Thursday's clash with Gujarat Titans – his lowest figure in the tournament since 2008.

Kohli, who also gave up the captaincy at Royal Challengers Bangalore last year, has not scored a century in any format since November 2019 when he managed 136 in Kolkata against Bangladesh.

While he averages 49.95 in the longest format, Kohli acknowledged it may be time for a rest.

"It's not a lot of people who mentioned it [taking a break]," Kohli told Star Sports. "There is one person precisely who has mentioned it which is Ravi [Shastri] and that's because he has seen from close quarters over the last six, seven years the reality of the situation that I have been in.

"The amount of cricket that I have played and the ups and downs and the toll that it takes on you to play three formats of the game plus the IPL for 10, 11 years non-stop with the seven years of captaincy in between.

"It is definitely a thing that one needs to consider because you don't want to do something which you are not a part of 100 per cent and I have always believed in that in my life.

"So to take a break and when to take a break is obviously something that I need to take a call on, but it is only a healthy decision for anyone to take some time off and just rejuvenate yourself mentally and physically.

"Not so much physically because physical fitness you keep up with through the course of playing cricket all the time, but it is a mental kind of reset that you need, and you want to be excited for what you are doing. You don't want to feel like you have been forcing yourself into any situation.

"It's only a thing of creating a balance and finding that balance which is right for you as an individual moving forward and I'll definitely discuss this with all the people involved – [India coach] Rahul [Dravid], the Indian team management, everyone to chart out whatever is best for myself and for the team definitely."

 

Kohli would not be the first high-profile international player to take a break from cricket to prioritise their mental and physical health, given new England Test captain Ben Stokes did so last year.

However, Kohli insists he is still enjoying his game as he looks to secure a playoff spot in the IPL with Bangalore.

"Right now, there is nothing that you can point out saying there is a problem here," Kohli said.

"I know where my game stands and you cannot come this far in your international career without having the ability to counter the situations and counter conditions and counter different kinds of bowling.

"So this phase for me is the easier phase to process but I don't want to put this behind me. I want to learn from it and understand that what are the core values that I have as a sports person and as a human being.

"As long as I'm ticking those boxes, I know these are ups and downs and when I come out of this phase I know how consistent I can be. I know how motivated I will be once the scores start coming.

"My experiences are sacred to me – whatever I have experienced in this phase or in the past as well. 

"So I am experiencing now that I value myself and I care for my own well-being way more than I would have in the past. And actually, contrary to a lot of belief or a lot of perceptions as I mentioned on the outside, I'm actually in the happiest phase of my life."

Related items

  • Fabio Carvalho is 'the perfect player', claims Liverpool team-mate Fabio Carvalho is 'the perfect player', claims Liverpool team-mate

    Harvey Elliott knows all about Liverpool's new "perfect player" Fabio Carvalho and expects the rest of the Premier League soon will, too.

    Carvalho, like Elliott, came through Fulham's academy, and the pair are separated by less than a year.

    They never played together in Fulham's first team, with Elliott leaving for Liverpool a year before Carvalho's professional debut, but the Portugal Under-21 international has now followed his former youth team-mate to Anfield.

    Both men face a battle to get into a Liverpool attack that was boosted on Friday by news of Mohamed Salah's new contract, with Sadio Mane's departure offset by the signing of Darwin Nunez.

    However, Elliott started three of the Reds' first four league games last season before dislocating his ankle, and he is confident Carvalho also has the quality to break into the team.

    "He brings everything, in all fairness," Elliott told Liverpool's official website. "He has a great attitude, he has the flair, the skill, the determination, and he can score and assist as well."

    A key part of the Fulham team who won the Championship last season, Carvalho contributed 10 goals and eight assists – a goal involvement every 158 minutes – with his 139 shot involvements ranking 15th across the entire division.

    Still just 19, he was the youngest player to score five goals, provide five assists, attempt 50 shots or create 50 chances.

    "He's the perfect player, in my eyes," Elliott continued, "and to have him on board and to have him in the building and around us, he'll only make us better players as well, and it will only make him a better player. 

    "It's been a long time, and to hopefully share the pitch with him again and to have that link-up, it'll be great and I'm just looking forward to it. 

    "Hopefully he can show everyone why we signed him."

    Carvalho's Premier League debut could come in familiar surroundings, as Liverpool face Fulham on the opening day of the new season.

  • Everton sign Tarkowski after defender leaves Burnley Everton sign Tarkowski after defender leaves Burnley

    James Tarkowski has signed for Everton on a free transfer following the expiration of his Burnley contract.

    Tarkowski has secured a four-year deal, keeping him at Everton until June 2026.

    The 29-year-old, who has two England caps, becomes Frank Lampard's first signing of the transfer window, as the Everton manager looks to improve on the squad that finished 16th last season.

    Defence was a major area of concern under Lampard and his predecessor Rafael Benitez, with Ben Godfrey and Yerry Mina suffering injury-hit campaigns. Indeed, Everton conceded 66 goals in the 2021-22 season, the 16th-worst total in the Premier League.

    While Tarkowski was unable to help Burnley retain their top-flight status, the centre-back had a strong individual campaign.

    No defender in the league competed for (217) or won more aerial duels (153) than Tarkowski.

    Brentford's Pontus Jansson, with 186, was the only defender to make more clearances than Tarkowski's 183, while Everton's new addition also ranked second for headed clearances (101).

    "I'm excited to have joined Everton. It's a massive club. I'm really looking forward to the years ahead and I'm thankful for the opportunity that I've been given," Tarkowski told Everton's official website.

    "Speaking to the manager, it was very important to see what he wants from his players and his team, what he saw in me and why he wanted to sign me.

    "I'm an ambitious person, I want to achieve, I want to win things and I've come here to be successful."

    While they have strengthened in defence, Everton's financial issues have resulted in the sale of star forward Richarlison, whose move to Tottenham went through on Friday for a reported £50million fee, with add-ons taking the deal potentially up to £60m.

    The Toffees have been linked with Spurs midfielder Harry Winks, while reports of interest in Jesse Lingard – another free agent after he left Manchester United – have also emerged.

  • India smash Test record as Stuart Broad concedes 35 runs in wild over India smash Test record as Stuart Broad concedes 35 runs in wild over

    England paceman Stuart Broad was put to the sword by Jasprit Bumrah as India set a Test record for the most runs scored in an over.

    The previous record of 28 runs was obliterated as India grabbed 35 from Broad's shocking set of six, with Bumrah doing most of the damage.

    The rout began with a top-edged hook to the boundary for four, before Broad's over descended into chaos as a high wide scurried off to the boundary to give India five free runs, and the next ball, a no-ball, was flung away for six.

    Bumrah lashed each of the next three deliveries for four as India reached 28 from the first four permissible deliveries, before the India captain clattered Broad away for a second six of the over.

    India had 34 with one ball remaining, and this time Broad sent down a yorker, with Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj scrambling a single.

    The onslaught took India from 377-9 to 412-9 on the second morning of the match, with the tourists adding just four more in the next over before James Anderson had Siraj caught by the fed-up Broad.

    This fifth Test at Edgbaston is a long-delayed series decider, having been postponed from last September, when it was due to be played at Old Trafford, due to COVID-19 concerns in the India camp.

    Anderson and England colleague Joe Root were two of the three players who had previously conceded 28 runs from a Test over, to share the unwanted record with South Africa Robin Peterson.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.