Are Mental health issues and Obese schedules the root behind India’s underwhelming performances during the Knockout stages of major tournaments?

Indian team's struggle with mental health


“For the first time in 10 years I have not touched a bat in a month. You can get carried away with so many demands nowadays, especially as schedules get piled up again and again. I’m looked at as a guy who is mentally very strong, and I am. But everyone has a limit, and you need to recognize that limit, otherwise, things can get unhealthy for you. I’m not shy to admit that I was feeling mentally down. This is a very normal thing to feel, but we don’t speak because we don’t want to be looked at as mentally weak.” said Virat Kohli about his mental health

Mental Health has been an issue that is arising in the modern times lately but it was rarely mentioned in the world of sports. Whether it is an Esports player, footballer, cricketer or athletes from any sport, every individual needs to be mentally sound in order to deliver performances at the highest level.

In this article, Sportzcraazy will discuss about the Workload management and mental health related concerns for the players taking part in the ICC T20 World cup in Australia beginning from mid-October.

Other than Physical fitness and form of the players, mental issues and burnouts have exposed the flaws of the Indian cricket team in major ICC tournaments. In the past, team India has struggled to manage the Workload of the players who are constantly playing without getting proper conditioning.

This factor has haunted the players at the most crucial times and the BCCI is yet to find a solution for this problem. If we look at the schedule of the players, it is nothing less than an Indian stadium during the IPL – completely jam packed.

The perception of the cricketing boards to organize innumerous tournaments to enhance the performances of the players is actually distancing them from reaching their highest potential.

If we talk about last year’s T20 World cup, the Indian side lost games when it mattered the most and won matches when it mattered the least. The players were not to be blamed but their schedule building up to the tournament.

Cricketers like Marcus Trescothick, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli Andrew Flintoff, Jonathon Trott, Sarah Taylor, Daniel Sams, Suzie Bates and many more have come out to express their grief regarding their battles with Depression and anxiety due to the surmounting expectations and heavy schedules.  

Increasing number of matches and tournaments saw English All-rounder Ben stokes retire from ODI cricket, stating the fact that “Three formats are just unsustainable”.  

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Over dependency on established players and lack of introduction of fresh faces into the team has also hampered the results at the crucial stages. This is when the question comes forward – does team India need a Psychologist for the ICC T20 World cup next month?

The pressure and the schedule have certainly choked the confidence of the players at times. A psychologist can come in handy for counselling as it can revitalize the mental state of the players. Very recently, Virat Kohli took a month’s gap to focus on bettering his mental state. The star batsman for India claimed that a recent run drought affected his wellness and that he had been acting intensely to hide the fact that nothing was wrong.

A psychologist can also help the players deal with burnouts, something that Kohli might have faced in the last couple of years and months.

This year alone since January, the team has played in more than 15 series including Tests, ODIs, T20Is and the Asia cup. The commercial aspect of the game and constant pressure of delivering quality performances is putting the minds of the players under scrutiny.

Prior to India’s T20 world cup campaign next month, the team has been playing relentless amount of matches as a part of preparation for the mega event. The team that has been selected to fly to Australia in a few weeks time is scheduled to play 3 T20Is and 3 ODIs against South Africa. It was only yesterday, that the T20I series against Australia came to an end.

It is because of this ruthless schedule that India headed out of the Asia Cup earlier this month. The players have immense pressure on their shoulders to win matches but burnouts have led us to see things we never expected.

The governing bodies of cricket should understand that Physical fitness is as important as the mindset of an individual.

When we talk about the form of the players, this aspect is correlated with mental health. In simple words, “form is nothing but a state of mind that you will have enough confidence to play your respective shots without any second thought”. 

Thus, inclusion of a Psychologist can curb the mental issues to some extent but how will team India cope up with the pressure next month is yet to be unfolded.

Also read :- Team India retains familiar faces ahead of the T20 World cup. Will the men in blue quench their thirst of winning an International trophy since 2013?