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Gambhir the most insecure cricketer: Paddy Upton

Gambhir the most insecure cricketer: Paddy Upton, former mental conditioning coach of Indian cricket team

New Delhi, May 1: Gautam Gambhir was "mentally the most insecure" but that didn't deter him from becoming one of India's most successful batsmen, former mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton writes in his newly-released book, an assertion that the feisty ex-opener doesn't even find hurtful. In his book 'The Barefoot Coach', Upton discussed the myth of mental toughness of elite sportsperson and how they react to situations.

1. On Gambhir

1. On Gambhir

"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," ... Upton wrote. Upton recalled how the left-handed opener would be in "agony" even after scoring a hundred and stressing more on the mistakes he might have made. Upton termed Gambhir as someone who was wired towards the lower end of the optimism/pessimism scale if 100 stands for "uber-optimistic" and 0 stood for pessimistic. "Let's say his range was 20 to 40 with 30 being normal. When he scored 150, he would he would be disappointed in not scoring 200." Upton wrote that no matter what he and then coach Gary Kirsten did Gambhir was "negative and pessimistic."

2. Gambhir's reaction

2. Gambhir's reaction

Gambhir, who is a now a politician and competing from the East Delhi constituency, said he is confident that there is "no sinful intention in Upton's views as he is a nice man and in any case his insecurities are well documented."

3. On MS Dhoni

3. On MS Dhoni

Upton wrote about former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's "incredible emotional control". "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.

4. On Virat Kohli

4. On Virat Kohli

Upton then put it in stark contrast with current captain Virat Kohli. "Imagine taking that trait as the ultimate characteristic of a mentally tough athlete and then try to prescribe it to someone as emotionally wired like his successor Virat Kohli. "Virat uses his visible and overt emotional charge to drive his success, whereas MS's success is facilitated by his lack of emotional charge," wrote Upton.

 
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Story first published: Wednesday, May 1, 2019, 18:26 [IST]
Other articles published on May 1, 2019
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