Indian captain Virat Kohli said his failures with the bat during a torrid tour of England in 2014 led him to feel like the "loneliest guy in the world" adding that he had to battle depression during that tour.
Speaking to former England player-turned commentator Mark Nicholas on his 'Not Just Cricket' podcast, Kohli acknowledged he went through a tough phase during what was a testing tour.
"Yes, I did," he said when asked if he suffered from depression during the tour. "...it's not a great feeling to wake up knowing that you won't be able to score runs and I think all batsmen have felt that at some stage that you are not in control of anything at all."
Kohli had probably the worst tour of his life in England, registering scores of 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0, 7, 6 and 20 in five Tests, averaging 13.50 in 10 innings as India went on to lost 1-3 after a promising start to the series.
However, the 32-year-old bounced back to his brilliant best in the next tour, to Australia later that year, where he scored 692 runs in four Tests.
"You just don't understand how to get over it. That was a phase when I literally couldn't do anything to overturn things...I felt like I was the loneliest guy in the world," Kohli said as he recalled the harrowing tour to England.
Kohli said he felt lonely despite being surrounded by supportive people in his life, adding that he needed professional help to get him out of the vicious circle.
"Personally, for me that was a revelation that you could feel that lonely even though you a part of a big group. I won't say I didn't have people who I could speak to but not having a professional to speak to who could understand what I am going through completely, I think is a huge factor."
"I think I would like to see it change."
He also said that mental health issues should not be taken lightly as they can easily destroy a person's life and career.
"Someone whom you can go to at any stage, have a conversation around and say 'Listen this is what I am feeling, I am finding it hard to even go to sleep, I feel like I don't want to wake up in the morning. I have no confidence in myself, what do I do?' "Lot of people suffer with that feeling for longer periods of time, it carries on for months, it carries on for a whole cricket season, people are not able to get out of it," Kohli said.
"I strongly feel the need for professional help there to be very honest," he added.
Kohli is currently in the bio-secure bubble in Ahmedabad for the third and fourth Test against England. The series is currently level at 1-1 after India bounced back from defeat in the first Test at Chennai's MA Chidambaram Stadium to register a comprehensive 227-run win at the same venue in the second Test.
Kohli recalled that watching the Indian team from the 90s inspired him to take up the sport as a career.
"The Indian team of the '90s really opened up my imagination about what could be done with the sport because it is so different from anything else I had seen before. It just instilled a lot of faith and belief in me that magical things can be done if an individual believes or decides."
"That's where the spark started...the dream of wanting to play for the country really started," he added.
Kohli said the "most impactful" incident of his life happened to him at the age of 18, when he lost his biggest supporter in his father Premchand.
"...that incident really put things in proper perspective for me. My father did work very hard in initial days to make sure that I get the best cricket gear or I continue with my cricket practice."
"From there on it made my belief even stronger that come what may, I am definitely going to realise my dream to play at the highest level and represent my country."
Seen as a fiery character and competitor on the field, Kohli said he is no different in life.
"...the disconnect for many years now is people don't seem to understand, don't seem to process, a lot of the times is that I have never worked towards creating a perception for myself which is perfect from a worldly point of view."
"For me what matters is what I can do an individual and how much I can provide on the cricket field as an individual," he said.
"I cannot fabricate things to look good in front of certain set of people. That's just not who I am," he asserted.
Another thing he hardly cares about is the expectations from him when he is on the field.
"Expectation is honestly a burden when you start thinking about it too much."