Former India Mental Coach Paddy Upton in his just-released book “The Barefoot Coach” has shared many hilarious stories of his time with the Indian team along with Gary Kirsten as part of support staff. Upton has shared many wonderful stories and has special mentions about former India captain MS Dhoni.
“His (Dhoni’s) real strength is his calmness and composure, regardless of the situation of the game. And being such a strong leader, using his level-headedness in tough situations, he gives the other players permission to remain calm and composed. That I think is the real strength that he has,” said Upton during the launch of his book in Kolkata.
When Upton was part of Indian team management, Anil Kumble captained Test team and Dhoni captained the limited overs team. Recalling a brilliant anecdote from his tenure, Upton said, “We had a very self-governing process. So we said to the team ‘is it important to be on time for the practice and team meetings?’ Everyone said yes it is. So we asked them if anyone is not on time is there anything one should give up? We discussed it amongst ourselves and the players, and eventually, it was left to the captain to decide.”
He then says, “In the test team, Anil Kumble said that the consequence would be a ten thousand rupees (10,000) fine which the person who was late would have to pay.”
Upton then went to MS Dhoni with the problem, who came up with a hilarious solution of his own and said, “And then we had the same conversation with the one-day team and there also MS (Dhoni) said that ‘yes there should be a consequence. So, if somebody is late, everybody will pay ten thousand rupees fine!’ Nobody was ever late from the one-day team again.”
Dhoni recently led his IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings to the finals of IPL 2019 and will be preparing for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019, which will be his fourth outing in the ICC mega event.