The 29-year-old has featured in 25 Tests, 42 ODIs and 27 T20Is, apart from representing his IPL side Royal Challengers Bangalore, since the beginning of 2016.
Keeping India’s tour of England and Australia later this year in mind, the selection panel had decided to give Kohli rest for the ongoing Nidahas Trophy being played between India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
“Physically, I had a few niggles, I am just getting over those. The workload has started to disagree with me a little bit. I have to be very careful about how I go forward with my body, my mind, my cricket,” Kohli said at a promotional event in Mumbai.
Kohli said breaks are very important as they allow him to remain fresh for major assignments.
“Times like these are very important going ahead. I am totally enjoying it. My body really needed this. Although I am keeping a track of the games, I do not watch matches right now and feel like I want to be on the field because I have started to listen to my body.
“And when I am done with this period, obviously in the IPL I will be coming out fresh. I will be mentally in a better place on the field. I have been on the road for a long, long time. I have hardly missed any games. You need to pay respect to your body as well at times and this phase is very important to me,” Kohli added.
The visitors staged a 215-run chase to defeat hosts Sri Lanka in their second match of the tournament, rebounding from a loss in their opener against India.
Bangladesh, 10th in the world T20 rankings behind Afghanistan, will be in strong contention for the tri-series final if they beat table-toppers India on Wednesday.
Mahmudullah, who was named captain after Shakib Al Hasan was ruled out of the tri-series due to injury, said the minnows entered the series wanting “to create a Bangladesh brand of cricket”.
“I think the skills are there. We need to be smart to take that calculated risk,” he told reporters in Colombo, saying his side had to compensate for its lack of power hitters.
“Taking on a particular bowler who we think can be targeted, these sort of things we need to apply when we are playing. These things will give us that Bangladesh brand of T20 cricket.”
The Tigers have beaten top sides in Test and one-day internationals, but struggled to find consistency in the shortest format of the sport, having lost nine of their last 11 T20s.
Mahmudullah urged his bowlers to learn from their Indian counterparts, who have utilised the batting-friendly conditions at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar have also chipped in with disciplined bowling and crucial strikes.
Bangladesh’s left-arm quick Mustafizur Rahman has picked up five wickets in two matches but leaked close to 10 runs an over.
Mahmudullah backed his strike paceman to come good in the remaining matches in conditions he believes are tough for bowlers.
“I think he is a great bowler for our team, he has been doing really well. It’s just the wicket that suits the batsman most,” said Mahmudullah.
“Mustafiz is in great shape and is our strike bowler and I will always back him up.”
Bangladesh have never won a T20 tournament since they started playing the format in 2006.
India-Sri Lanka matches have become a bit of an internet joke, with a succession of bilateral matches leading to viewer fatigue. However, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) president Thilanga Sumathipala wants to see even more clashes between the subcontinent neighbours, comparing it to the Ashes series.
In the last nine months, India have toured Sri Lanka and hosted the islanders for two separate full tours. And the two teams are currently participating in the Nidahas Trophy T20 tri-series, also involving Bangladesh.
In all, the teams have played six Tests, eight ODIs and six T20s within nine months. Starting in July last year, India blanked Sri Lanka 3-0 in the Test series, 5-0 in ODIs while winning the one-off T20. Then Sri Lanka visited India late last year, losing the three-Test series 0-1, the ODI series 1-2 and T20 rubbers 0-3. And they have played two T20s in the tri-series so far.
SLC chief Sumathipala wants the teams to play each other even more.
“Australia is playing England in the Ashes many times. They play five Tests. So we feel we should play more with India. They are the number one side. Except this tournament, all were bilateral series agreed by the FTP (Future Tours Programme). It sometimes happens that teams play each other frequently while some don’t play for 6-7 years due to FTP pressures,” Sumathipala was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times during the inauguration of Sri Lanka’s new ‘Brain Centre’ for player development.