New Delhi: Paddy Upton has joined India’s support staff under head coach Rahul Dravid in the West Indies as the mental conditioning coach, ahead of the Men’s T20 World Cup later this year. Between 2008 and 2011, Upton was part of India’s support staff as assistant to Gary Kirsten – the then coach – in a similar capacity, a stint that culminated in Team India’s World Cup win under MS Dhoni. Upton then teamed up with Kirsten with the South Africa team that went on to become the No. 1 Test team in 2013.
The 53-year-old has already joined Team India ahead of their five-match T20I series against the two-time champions, a Cricbuzz report said.
It has been learnt that Upton’s appointment has been done on the recommendation of Dravid. The pair have worked together previously, in early 2010s during the latter’s playing career and subsequently at Rajasthan Royals and the erstwhile Delhi Daredevils, where they served as mentor and coach respectively.
Upton has also served as Performance Director of the South Africa team and later as head coach on the T20 circuit with stints at Sydney Thunder (BBL) and Lahore Qalandars (PSL) besides his role in the IPL. Most recently, he served as the ‘Team Catalyst’ at Rajasthan Royals, who reached their first IPL final since the 2008 season.
Notably, India have a packed schedule ahead of them before the T20 World Cup in Australia. Post the five-match series against the West Indies, they will play a short ODI series in Zimbabwe, the Asia Cup in August before subsequent white-ball assignments at home against Australia and South Africa.