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India's Kohli hails Australia's Maxwell on mental health issue

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By Reuters

NEWDELHI (Reuters) – Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has set an example by taking a break from the game to address his mental health issues and there should not be any negativity about such situations, India captain Virat Kohli said on Wednesday.

Maxwell has taken an indefinite break from the game to deal with an issue rarely discussed in the sub-continent’s cricketing circles but Kohli was has a clear view on the situation.

“I think what Glenn has done is remarkable,” the 31-year-old told reporters in Indore on the eve of India’s opening test against Bangladesh that begins on Thursday.

“It has set the right example for cricketers around the world that if you’re not in the best frame of mind you try, and try and try, but as human beings you reach a tipping point at some stage or the other. And you need time away from the game. Not to say you give up, but just to gain more clarity.”

Kohli pointed to his own struggle during the 2014 tour of England when runs dried up and he could not find anyone to confide in.

“I’ve gone through a phase in my career where I felt like it was the end of the world,” he said.

“In England 2014, I didn’t know what to do, what to say to anyone, and how to speak and how to communicate. And to be honest, I couldn’t have said: ‘I’m not feeling great mentally and I need to get away from the game’. Because you never know how that’s taken.”

It should be fine for cricketers to take a break and try and return refreshed, he said.

“I’m absolutely for it…these things should be of great importance. Because if you think that a player is important enough for the team or for Indian cricket to go forward, I think they should be looked after.”

“I think is quite acceptable and quite a nice thing to do. I think these things should be respected and not taken in a negative way at all because this is happening at a human level…”

After Indore, the teams move to Kolkata where they will play their first day-night test from Nov. 22 with pink balls.

Kohli is one of several players from both sides with practically no experience of the pink ball and the right-hander felt its visibility and exaggerated swing could trouble the batsmen.

“You require extra concentration to pick the pink ball when you’ve been playing with the red ball.”

“I felt it swings a lot more compared to the red ball because there’s extra lacquer on the ball.”

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Ken Ferris)