The Indian captain admitted that living in one bio-bubble after another in these post pandemic times does add to the stress of being a captain and always subconsciously thinking about the team.
Kohli feels that it won’t be long before cricketers start taking the Ben Stokes route like the England all-rounder has now pulled out of the marquee series.
“These breaks are very important, for me too. To refresh and come back. In any case, captaincy and shouldering a team’s responsibility can be stressful. To add to that, if you are confined in a bubble for a long time, things get even more difficult. These periodic breaks are very important,” Kohli said on the eve of the first Test against England.
The custodians of the game need to think seriously about the gruelling round the year calendar as the Indian captain doesn’t want a situation where one ends up without any quality cricketers due to bubble fatigue.
“Because if your players don’t survive to play, then maintaining the quality of cricket will get difficult. Like he’s (Stokes) taken a break, there could be more players in the future, at some stage or the other, who could get fatigued by the bubble life,” said Kohli, who also has been leading IPL side Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The Indian team got a 20-odd day break after the World Test Championship final, which they lost to New Zealand. Following the break, the team assembled in Durham, where they even played a three-day warm up game before moving here for the first Test.
“As a captain, I can say that subconsciously your mind is always functioning, you get so used to the team planning on a daily basis, you get very little time to switch off,” Kohli said at the virtual pre-match press conference ahead of the first Test against England.
“From that point of view, the break was vital. Also, you’ve seen Ben Stokes has taken a break, we have been operating in a bubble for more than a year and it’s not easy,’ maintained the India captain.
Proud of Indian athletes who are doing well in Olympics, skipper says
Skipper Kohli also took this opportunity to congratulate the Indian athletes who have been doing well at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics. India now have three confirmed medals with weightlifter Mirabai Chanu winning a silver and star shuttler PV Sindhu winning her second Olympic medal — a bronze in women’s singles.
A third assured medal is boxer Lovlina Borgohain who will fight her semi-finals on Wednesday.
“We all have been keenly following when we were Durham, at the breakfast arena, we had big screens and televisions, which were always running all the Olympic events and specially our athletes when they were performing, we were all keenly watching,” Kohli said.
“The whole country and all of us included are super proud of all the medal winners and also the people who have gone far into the competition, who might not have won medals, but you know who have competed and given their best, so we are all very proud of them as everyone else in the country is and we have been keenly watching and supporting them from here,” the aggressive right-handed batsman added.
India is still in medal contention in both men’s and women’s hockey events.