Premier India batter Virat Kohli’s revelation that he was faking his intensity on the field hasn’t gone well with the fans as several Indian cricket admirers were seen mocking him on social media.

Virat Kohli was rested for the national team’s recent tours of the West Indies and Zimbabwe and will be back in action this Sunday when Rohit Sharma and company will take on Pakistan in a blockbuster Asia Cup clash in Dubai.

The last time India and Pakistan met on a cricket field, it was Babar Azam and his boys who accomplished their first-ever win over the Men in Blue in a World Cup, beating them by 10 wickets in the ICC T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last year.

Ahead of India’s encounter against arch-rivals Pakistan, Virat Kohli opened up about his mental health struggles and why a break was essential for him to regain his focus on the pitch.

But netizens were heavily critical of his admission he used to fake his intensity on occasions as they claimed that it amounted to cheating.

“For the first time in 10 years, I did not touch the bat for one month. I came to the realization that I was kind of trying to fake my intensity a bit recently, you know you can do that, you are competitive and you are saying I have the intensity but your body is telling you to stop and it is telling you to take a break and step back. I am looked at as a guy who is very mentally strong and I am. Everyone has a limit and you need to recognize that limit otherwise things can get unhealthy for you,” Virat Kohli told Star Sports.

“This period taught me a lot, you know many things I was not allowing to come to the surface. When it surfaced, I embraced it. I am not shy to accept that I was feeling mentally down, it is a normal thing to feel but we don’t speak because we are hesitant, we don’t want to be looked at as mentally weak or weak people. Trust me, faking to be strong is far worse than admitting to be weak,” he added.

“I am a person who wakes up and feels like let’s see what the day has for me and be part of everything that I am doing through the day with absolute presence, involvement, and happiness. That is who I have always been, people ask me a lot how do you deal with this on the field and how do you carry on with the same intensity. I just tell them I love playing the game and I love the fact that I have so much to contribute and I would give my every inch on the field,” Virat Kohli elaborated.

“To me, it never felt abnormal and a lot of people on the outside and even within the team, ask me how do you keep up with it. I just say one simple thing, I want to make my team win at any cost and if that means, I am gasping for breath when I walk off the field, so be it. That’s the kind of preparation I go through, to be able to play like that. That was not happening naturally, and I had to push myself. But I just did not know it,” he explained.

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Virat Kohli has been going through an extended dry spell with the bat. During last month’s tour of England, the former India captain managed to score just 76 runs in his six outings in a Test match, and two ODIs and T20Is each.

While he perished at scores of 11 and 20 in the rescheduled fifth and final Test against the Three Lions in Edgbaston, Virat Kohli was dismissed for 1 and 11 in the T20I games in Birmingham and Trent Bridge.

Though he missed the first clash of the ODI series because of a groin injury, he didn’t succeed in changing his fortunes in the remaining two 50-over matches as he registered a total of 33 runs, making 16 and 17 at the Lord’s and Old Trafford respectively.

Before that, Virat Kohli had a horror run in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as he could score only 341 runs at a mediocre average of 22.73 in 16 games in the tournament.

Virat Kohli last made a century in any form of international cricket in the historic Pink-ball Test against Bangladesh in November 2019.

Since then, he has gone 78 consecutive knocks without a three-figure score on the international stage.

It has been more than a thousand days since Virat Kohli reached a three-figure score for India and the debate over his form continues unabated among the pundits.

However, this weekend, Kohli will have an opportunity to rejuvenate himself against Pakistan, an opposition against whom he has enjoyed great success in the past.

In fact, his highest score of 183 in ODIs came against Pakistan in the continental tournament back in 2012.