Paddy Upton thanks Rahul Dravid and an IPL franchise in first reaction after rejoining Team India support staff
Paddy Upton has rejoined Team India's support staff ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup this year. He had earlier worked with India between 2008 and 2011.
Aiming to be fully prepared, Team India roped in South African mental conditioning expert Paddy Upton to work with the players ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia this year. Upton rejoins the side, having previously worked between 2008 and 2011 as assistant to Gary Kirsten, which culminated in the 2011 ODI World Cup victory under MS Dhoni. Upton then followed it up by teaming up with Kirsten once again and helping South Africa become the no. 1 Test team in 2013. Reacting for the first time since rejoining the side, Upton retweeted a congratulatory message from Rajasthan Royals (RR) and wrote, "Excited and privileged to be back in #TeamIndia colours, working alongside long time colleague, friend and Head Coach Rahul Dravid. Much of our journey was thanks to @rajasthanroyals".
Upton has also worked with Rahul Dravid for RR in IPL and was also part of Sydney Thunder's support staff when they clinched the BBL title in 2015-16.
According to ESPNcricinfo, Upton was approached by Dravid to help Team India players stay mentally fit and motivated for the T20 World Cup and the decision was supported by captain Rohit Sharma. Also, Dravid reportedly wanted someone to work immediately with the younger players on mental conditioning due to the presence of bio-secure bubbles.
Writing about the 2011 World Cup final for the Indian Express, Upton once hailed MS Dhoni's decision to promote himself ahead of Yuvraj Singh and then play a match-winning knock of 91*. "He (MS Dhoni) would do what he is the best in the world at – which is seeing a team home in a chase in the second innings in a white-ball game. He had delivered nothing in the eight games before the final. Yuvraj had done his bit, he had played his tournament. He was done, he was spent. That moment was set up for someone like Dhoni. There are very few players in the world who are genuine “massive high-pressure” players. Yuvraj Singh is not one of those, Dhoni is", he stated.