Amit Kumar, New Delhi
Paddy Upton has been the strength and mental conditioning coach of Team India. It is his specialty to understand the mood of the players and play an important role in getting them to perform at their best. Upton was with the team in 2011 when India won the World Cup under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He understands the importance of mental fortitude and stability in sports.
Upton discussed many aspects in a conversation with our partner website, TimesOfIndia.com. Commenting on Virat Kohli’s journey as a player, he said that his changed thinking and attitude towards fitness made him a good player to a great player. Upton also spoke on the manner of captaining Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He openly expressed his opinion on the difference in approach of the two captains.
Kohli took over the Test captaincy from Dhoni in 2014. When they won 4–0 in the home series against England, the Indian team reached the number one ranking in Tests. Kohli scored 655 runs at an average of 109.5 in this series. In January 2017, he also became captain in the limited overs format.
Talking about the difference in style of captaincy between Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Paddy Upton said, ‘Dhoni and Kohli are two different types of captains. Dhoni remains calm and his mind is always stable while Kohli is a bit emotional.
Upton said, ‘Virat is very excited and energetic. He expresses his feelings openly. We can estimate this by looking at the ups and downs of their emotions on the field. ‘
This former mental strength coach of Team India said that the captain’s behavior has a great impact on the players. He said, “The more emotional or a little bit the players are not going to control the emotions, then the more they will be affected by the words and work of the captain.”
He said, ‘Few words of praise help a player to be very encouraging and give him the best performance and the tendency to reject the same gives a deep hurt to the player’s confidence. In this manner Kohli really infuses the players and at the same time they also have the ability to weaken the confidence of the players.