Kohli reveals toll of gruelling schedule

India skipper admits his massive workload is starting to have an affect after he was rested for the ongoing T20I series

Cricket Network

14 March 2018, 05:59 PM AEST

India captain Virat Kohli boasts an enviable record, has rubberstamped his status as a great of the modern game and is yet to turn 30, giving him plenty of time to build on his long list of accomplishments.

But the batting maestro has conceded his exhausting workload is starting to take a toll, revealing he needs to be “very careful” with how he manages his body in the coming years.

Kohli has been rested from the ongoing T20I tri-series in Sri Lanka, giving him valuable time to recharge ahead of a massive 2018, which includes Test tours of England and Australia.

The gun right-hander sits second behind Australia captain Steve Smith in the ICC Test batting charts and is only the second Indian– after Sunil Gavaskar – to achieve 900 ranking points.

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Kohli has played 94 international matches – 25 Tests, 42 ODIs and 27 T20Is – across the three formats since the start of 2016, which is more than anybody else in world cricket.

In comparison, Joe Root (86 matches), MS Dhoni (85) and Mitchell Santner (85) have played the next most international games over the same period, while David Warner has been the busiest Australian with 83 games in the same period.

On top his gruelling schedule with the national side, Kohli has also had Indian Premier League commitments with Royal Challengers Bangalore.

"Physically, I had a few niggles and I am just getting over them,” Kohli said at a promotional event in Mumbai.

“The workload has started to disagree with me, so I have to be careful about how I go forward with my body, my mind, my cricket.

"Times like these are important going ahead. I am enjoying it.

“I do not think I am missing out on anything, because my body really needed this. I have started to listen to my body. And when I am done with this period, obviously in the IPL I will be coming out fresh.”

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While Kohli’s deeds with the bat continue to amaze – he averages over 50 at the top level in all formats and has 56 international centuries – his revelations are at odds with his relentless on-field enthusiasm.

Kohli is often a bundle of energy constantly seeking to inspire his teammates, but he admits he is different away from the spotlight. 

"I can sit and not move from one place for hours and that's how lazy I can be,” he said.

“When I get free time at home, I can be a total vegetable and be very annoying compared to the energy I show on field.”

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Kohli also spoke of his admiration for Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer, who is ranked world No.1 at the age of 36 having won three Grand Slam titles since the start of last year.

Federer took a self-imposed break during the clay court season in 2017 and missed the French Open.

"When he plays, it's so beautiful. He has a family now, priorities set, he takes time out of the game without worrying about opinions and criticism of people and then he comes in and wins Grand Slams,” Kohli said.

"At 36, he is defying all logic and that's something I totally love. I hate following the norm and he is someone who is breaking barriers on a daily basis and I have huge respect for him.”