To aid in the squad’s preparations for the next October–November T20 World Cup in Australia, Paddy Upton, a mental fitness expert who assisted India in winning the 2011 World Cup under MS Dhoni’s leadership, has been named to team India’s support staff. Paddy will join the team in the West Indies as a mental fitness coach and will stay there till the T20 World Cup, according to a BCCI official who spoke on the record.

Upton has played cricket in a variety of roles all around the world and has a strong connection with head coach Rahul Dravid. They have worked together as coaches for many teams. Dravid was only a player when Upton assisted India head coach Gary Kirsten in the late 2010s. The two later joined up with the Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals in the IPL as head coaches, respectively (now Capitals).

Paddy is a pioneer in thought. In the latter’s book, Dravid had lauded Upton for his “new and contemporary” approach to both life and cricket. In IPL 2022, Upton’s final position was as the “team catalyst” for RR.

To get the players ready for the rigors of a World Cup, Indian head coaches have often employed mental health specialists throughout the years.

Wright introduced the pre-game team huddle, and Sourav Ganguly’s 2003 World Cup coaching staff employed sports psychologist Sandy Gordon before Upton’s 2011 involvement. Before the 2007 World Cup, former head coach Greg Chappell consulted renowned sports psychologist Rudi Webster.

However, the mind coach disappeared once Ravi Shastri assumed over in 2014. Shastri is regarded as a strong motivator and likes to get the squad ready in his style. Anil Kumble led India to the 2017 Champions Trophy. He guided India to the bulk of the major ICC championships during his seven-year tenure.