India’s former mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton has made a few revelations in his new book ‘The Barefoot Coach’. According to Upton, the former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir was “mentally the most insecure, negative and pessimistic”. Despite his flaws, Gambhir was one of the best Indian openers. The southpaw made winning contributions in T20 World Cup 2007 and World Cup 2011 finals.
The 50-year-old Coach Upton however felt that Gambhir was never satisfied with his performance, and stressed a lot on the mistakes that led to his dismissals.
“I did some of my best and least effective mental conditioning work with Gautam Gambhir, the International Test Cricketer of the Year’ in 2009. I worked with him up until that time but I had little to do with him being named world’s best cricketer,” an excerpt from his book.
The cricketer-turned-politician did not seem unhappy with Upton’s observations as he told PTI, “no sinful intention in Upton’s views as he is a nice man, and in any case his insecurities are well documented”.
“I wanted myself and Indian team to be the best in the world. That’s why I was not satisfied even after scoring 100 as it has been mentioned in Paddy’s book. I see nothing wrong there. As a driven individual I have tried to raise the bar for myself alone,” he further added.
The South African did not have any doubts about the Delhi cricketer’s capabilities as he wrote, “But at the same time, he was undoubtedly one of the best and most determined and successful Test batsmen in the world. Something he would prove yet again in 2011 World Cup final.”
On the other hand, Upton had a unique insight into India’s World Cup winning captain MS Dhoni. “I would go as far as to say, with greatest respect for MS the man and the Cricketer, that it is not emotional control but the lack of access to emotions. MS is not wired as an emotional type. It’s almost as if he doesn’t have them; a performance enhancing gift from birth,” Upton wrote.