India captain Virat Kohli has welcomed the short break from cricket that he is on currently, saying it has helped him recover from a “few niggles”. Kohli opted out of the ongoing Nidahas Trophy, the T20 triangular series also featuring Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, with Rohit Sharma captaining the Indian team instead.
“Physically, I had a few niggles, I am just getting over those,” Kohli said at a promotional event in Mumbai. “The workload has started to disagree with me a little bit. I have to be very careful about how I go forward with my body, my mind, my cricket. Times like these are very, very important. I am totally enjoying it; I do not even have an inch of me missing out on anything because my body really needed this.”
Kohli was rested for the tri-series on the back of an almost two-month-long South African tour, where he played every match barring one T20I. The Indian contingent for the Nidahas Trophy excluded several notable limited-overs regulars, including Kohli, MS Dhoni, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav, with MSK Prasad, the chairman of selectors, explaining that the selection committee was mindful of their workload and upcoming schedule.
This is not the first time that Kohli has raised concerns about workload management. He had been pretty vociferous about it during the home Test series against Sri Lanka last year. “Definitely, I do need a rest. Why not? When I think of the time when my body needs to be rested, I’ll ask for it. I am not a robot, you can slice my skin and check, I bleed,” he had said then. He was subsequently rested for the limited-overs leg of the tour.
India’s players have a long season ahead of them. After the tri-series in Sri Lanka, they will be engaged in the IPL through April and May, then host Afghanistan for a one-off Test in June, before heading England for three T20Is, three ODIs and five Tests starting in July and running through to September.