The BCCI has recently re-appointed Paddy Upton as Team India’s mental conditioning coach till the T20 World Cup later this year. The 53-year-old, who was part of India’s 2011 World Cup win under the then head coach Gary Kirsten in a similar capacity, has joined the Men in Blue ahead of the five-match T20I series against West Indies.
Upton has a strong resume as he earlier worked with Indian head coach Gary Kristen while India clinched the World Cup under the leadership of MS Dhoni, and later duo helped South Africa becoming the No.1 Test team in 2013. Apart from international set-up, Upton has also extensively worked in the franchise set-up as he earlier worked with Indian head coach Rahul Dravid at the Rajasthan Royals and Delhi franchises. He also helped Sydney Thunders to win the BBL title in 2015-16.
While Upton’s appointment reportedly had the backing of head coach and Indian skipper Rohit Sharma, former Indian pacer Sreesanth, who was part of 2011 World Cup squad, has claimed the appointment has been done only on the basis on Rahul Dravid’s reference, and Upton does not have much to offer.
“He hardly did anything. Gary Kirsten did 99 per cent of the work. Upton was just an assistant to him. He is back because he has worked with Rahul bhai earlier at Rajasthan Royals,” said Sreesanth. Adding further, the right-arm fast-medium-pace bowler claimed that Indian head coach will use the services of Upton well as he is a good yoga teacher.
The 39-year-old Indian pacer hailed Gary Kristen for being a visionary and a believer of planning things way before. “Each and every player will agree with this. He had this vision when he came in for the CB Series in 2007-08 in Australia. I clearly remember Garry telling me, Suresh Raina and a few others while fielding that whoever has the ambition to win the 2011 World Cup, this CB series is where it all starts”, recalled Sreesanth.