Paddy Upton, the India team’s physical and mental trainer, is happy with Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir lean patch in the IPL.
“Every cricketer goes through a slump and from an Indian perspective, I am happy,” Upton told HT over phone from Cape Town.
“They are not scoring and it is a good thing from the players’ point of view. They’ll become positive when they regroup and will be ready when they play again for India. Given the option, I would want them to score runs for India. But the franchise owner would want them to score. In reality, every batsman cannot be scoring all the time,” he said.
Gambhir has aggregated 212 runs in 12 innings and averaged 21.20 for the Delhi Daredevils while Sehwag has 109 runs in eight matches at an average of 15.57 (before Tuesday’s match against the Royal Challengers).
Sehwag credited Upton for his encouragement during the marathon innings of 319 against South Africa during the Chennai Test in April last year. He will hope for a similar tonic when the team assembles in Mumbai and leaves for the World T20 in England on May 28.
Upton, who returned from New Zealand, where India toured before the IPL, has been following the tournament with an outsider’s view.
The South African was happy that the IPL was happening just before the World T20. “There is a lot of preparation for the World T20 (along with coach Gary Kirsten). We have an existing process in place and are continuing with it.”
He was pleased with some individual performances. “Yuvraj Singh’s two hat-tricks are because of a whole lot of skills.
Rohit Sharma’s bagfuls of wickets too have been good. Such performances will build the players’ confidence and that is great for Indian cricket,” he said.
Upton said while the favourite teams would make the last four, “an individual or possibly two” would determine the semifinals and final. “In Test cricket, the best team wins more often. In One-Day Internationals, the best team wins over a period of time. But in T20, it is an individual who turns the game. It is not quite a gamble but comes closest to gambling.
A one-over spell, one catch or two good overs of batting can turn a game in T20,” he said.