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- Dec 12, 2023
Former cricketer, S Sreesanth opines that Paddy Upton’s appointment won’t do any quick fix magic to the Indian team in the lead-up to the ICC 20-20 World Cup in Australia later this year. Upton was brought in as the mental conditioning coach ahead of the third ODI against West Indies upon recommendation of the head coach Rahul Dravid. The South African was part of India’s 2011 World Cup win under then-coach Gary Kirsten in a similar role.
While it is seen as a welcome move, Sreesanth feels Upton’s appointment won’t make much of a difference. The Kerala-born cricketer has worked with Upton during his time with the national team and at the Rajasthan side in the Indian T20 League.
Speaking to Mid-Day, the former cricketer stated:
“I don’t think he [Upton] can do wonders. If we win the T20 World Cup, it will be because of the players and the experience of Rahul bhai [Dravid]. We have a great unit, but I don’t think that the man who you are talking about [Upton] is going to make much difference. Even when you play domestic cricket, you have to be mentally fit. So, the conditioning is happening [already].”
Incidentally, Upton, in his autobiography, had alleged that Sreesanth abused him and Dravid after the pacer was left out of playing XI against Mumbai Indians in IPL 2013. That edition of the cash-rich league was rocked by a match-fixing saga, which led to many life bans on cricketers, including Sreesanth.
Paddy Upton has had very little or no effect on me: Sreesanth
Sreesanth further added that Upton had barely one percent impact on the side that won the ICC ODI World Cup in 2011 under MS Dhoni and head coach Kirsten.
Hardly one per cent (on his impact in the 2011 World Cup win). Gary did 99 per cent of the work. He [Upton] was just an assistant to him. He is back because he has worked with Rahul bhai earlier [at RR]. Rahul bhai will surely use him well because he is a good yoga teacher.”
Paddy Upton’s order of business will be to get the players up and running during the build up to and in the 20-20 World Cup year. He might stay on till the 2023 World Cup as well.
— BCCI (@BCCI) July 26, 2022