After Virat Kohli, Harmanpreet Kaur Opens Up About ‘Mental Fatigue’

Indian Women's Team Captain
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Harmanpreet Kaur, Indian Women’s Team Captain, has emphasised the necessity of a sports psychologist travelling with the team more frequently. According to her, having a psychologist on staff enables athletes to feel more at ease in a team setting and to request a break when necessary rather than “pushing too hard in such moments.”

Her remarks follow England all-rounder Nat Sciver’s decision to withdraw from the series in order to concentrate on her mental health and welfare. Harmanpreet has already advocated for the advantages of having a mental-health coach on hand, someone the players can turn to for support during trying times.

The Women’s T20 Challenge began in the latter week of May after the month-long ODI World Cup, which was one of the biggest competitions this year, completed in early April. Two months later, India advanced to the final of the Commonwealth Games, which featured women’s cricket for the first time. Four days later, The Hundred’s second season premiered, continuing the tight schedule.

Harmanpreet said, “We as a team discuss a lot on these things. Your performances go up and down, and it is better to take a break than pushing too hard in such times. As a team, we want to help that player, and we are very open about players taking breaks when there is mental fatigue and things do not go as you want.”

“Last year, I went through these things playing back-to-back cricket. This year, we had the Commonwealth Games, and the Hundred was there [one after the other], but I wanted to take a break. Playing back to back does take a mental toll, and it is good to take a break at times [rather] than pushing too hard,” she continued.

“When we were on the New Zealand tour, [Bavare] was our go-to person and helped us a lot,” she said. “I hope in future also we can get her with us, because right now we are paying too much attention to our physical fitness and skills. But mental skill is something we need to take seriously.

“We represent our country, and there is a lot of pressure. Sometimes you only put so much pressure on yourself because you know your game and your ability, and what you can do your country. So sometimes expecting too much can also pull you back.

“In such times, if you can go to someone and express yourself and get some ideas about how to go about your own things, it will help you ease out.”

Virat Kohli, the former captain of the men’s team for India, recently discussed his difficulties managing expectations, workload, and mental exhaustion. He also mentioned how, for the first time in ten years, he had “not touched the bat in a whole month” when he took a break. Given the travel limitations imposed by the Covid-19 epidemic, Kohli emphasised the significance of maintaining mental health last year when in England for the WTC final and a Test series against the hosts.

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