Virat Kohli will skip his highly-anticiptated county cricket stint at Surrey due to a neck injury sustained during the IPL, the BCCI confirmed on Thursday.

The effort to play so much cricket may have actually caused the injury to Kohli. In November, The Field noted that the Indian captain was consistently playing more cricket than anyone else and considerably more than his predecessors.

Since January 2014, he’s played more international cricket than anyone else with a whopping 163 matches across all formats.

He’s in good company with Joe Root and Kane Williamson following close behind with 160 and 154 matches respectively. Both are younger than Kohli and also carry the burden of captaincy.

Though, in the same period, he’s also played some of his finest cricket. He’s amassed more runs across all formats than anyone else in international cricket.

Top run scorers since January 2014

Player Matches Runs scored
Virat Kohli 163 9877
Joe Root 160 9365
Steve Smith 133 9365
Kane Williamson 154 8535
Across all international formats

Kohli had a record breaking 2017 and is only second to Sachin Tendulkar when it comes to white-ball cricket. However, the amount of cricket he plays increases the likelihood of injury especially with the added burden of playing the IPL every year.

He’s played 70 IPL matches since 2014 scoring 2,675 runs to devastating effect. His 2016 season saw him score 973 runs in 16 matches, a league record that is unlikely to be broken. Including this year’s IPL, Kohli has already played 25 matches including four Tests.

Historically as well, the workload on Kohli (and most of the current generation including MS Dhoni) has been at an all-time high.

In 2017, he played 55 matches including the IPL, more than any other international cricketer. And add to that the fact that all those matches were under his captaincy.

All of Kohli’s record-breaking is commendable, but like any athlete he’s had to push his body to the limit to get there. There have been a few signs of him taking a break. He skipped the Sri Lanka series in December followed by resting for the Nidahas Trophy in March, he’s tried to get the right mix of rest and play. But a strenuous calendar with the England and Australia series ahead of us, the Indian captain really needs to be watchful of his workload.