Paddy Upton is an important resource for the team: Dravid

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27 Jul 2022 | 03:47 PM
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Paddy Upton is an important resource for the team: Dravid

Paddy Upton joined India's backroom staff as mental conditioning coach ahead of the T20 World Cup

India head coach Rahul Dravid felt Paddy Upton's wealth of experience and familiarity with the Indian cricket set-up will be a useful resource for players' mental health.

Upton returned to the Indian dressing room as mental conditioning coach, having previously working with former head coach Gary Kirsten from 2008-11 which culminated in India winning the 2011 ODI World Cup.

"With so much cricket being played mental health side of cricket is very important and having a resource like him (Upton) will really be helpful to the group," Dravid told BCCI.tv.

Dravid felt that Upton's presence with the team is useful for the players to cope with the pressures of international cricket.

"Travelling as players in international cricket, we do understand the mental side of the game and we are lucky to get someone like Paddy on board because he has that experience of being with Indian team during 2011 World Cup and even a little before that. Most importantly he (Upton) is familiar with most Indian players having worked with them at IPL level or in Indian team," Dravid said of Upton, who he worked with at Rajasthan Royals.

India are set to play Zimbabwe after the ongoing West Indies series before the T20 World Cup in Australia which will be followed by a series against New Zealand.

"He is familiar with our culture and how the Indian team functions. (It) seemed like a really good fit for us, to tap into his knowledge as we look to build the team for the World Cup," Dravid said.

Upton sees himself as a facilitator for players to perform at their full potential likening his skills as that of gardener creating a fertile land.

"Everybody has a natural motivational flow and part of my role is to help individuals find that natural motivation flow and for that we need to set up an environment that allows people to be themselves and to flourish," he said.

"If I give a simple analogy is to grow beautiful flowers, the gardener needs to create a fertile land. As coaches, our role is to create a fertile environment which helps our players to naturally grow and reach their fullest potential on and off the field," he added.

Upton also spoke about his association with Dravid, which goes back to 1996 during the former right-hander's first tour of South Africa.

"He (Dravid) has always been someone with such a hunger to learn, not just around game of cricket because he is a professor when it comes to game of cricket but about life and everything beyond cricket. We have been in conversation about life, cricket, spirituality since 1996. We picked up again when we joined the Indian team in 2008 with Gary Kirsten," Upton said.

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ICC World Twenty20, 2022IndiaRahul Dravid

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