“I wasn’t telling the players to do anything. I was sharing information. And what was taken out of context in the media was the jokes that I told them. I wasn’t suggesting players do that. That was just the jokes and tongue-in-cheek mistakes that I made. But, yes (this was) easily my biggest professional error,” Upton said.
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Discipline thy name is Dhoni
Upton revealed that when MS Dhoni took over as the captain of the Indian cricket team in the 50-over format, the wicketkeeper had come up with a unique idea to ensure that his teammates were not late for any team meetings and training.
The South African narrated how erstwhile captains Anil Kumble and Dhoni came up innovative ideas.
“We (the team) had a very self-governing process. 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 added.
“In the Test team, Anil Kumble said that the consequence would be a ten thousand rupees fine which the person who was late would have to pay. But when we had the same conversation with the One-Day team, MS (Dhoni) suggested that if somebody is late, everybody else will pay 10,000 rupees fine! Nobody was ever late from the one-day team again,” Upton said.
He also heaped praise on the 37-year-old for his temperament and said, “His real strength is his calmness and composure, regardless of the situation of the game. Being such a strong leader, using his level-headedness in tough situations, he gives the other players permission to remain calm and composed.”
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Speaking on the way his image has been portrayed in the book, former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir said that while he enjoyed every session he had with the former India mental conditioning coach, Upton could have highlighted other facets to the batsman than just pointing at his desire to raise the performance bar.
“I don’t see anything sinister with what Paddy wrote. He is a top guy and I see this as his personal opinion. He just missed two important things: firstly, he didn’t state all the other facts and secondly, he failed to explain the perspective. Anyone would like to have a guy who is not satisfied with his current achievements. So in short, I wasn’t satisfied with a 100 and wanted to have more,” he had said.