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Gautam Gambhir was ‘most insecure’ during playing days, reveals Paddy Upton

Gambhir also reacted to Upton's comments.

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir. (Photo by Sarang Gupta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Gautam Gambhir was one of India’s top openers for almost a decade-and-half. He scored over 10,000 international runs and was a key member of two of India’s World Cup-winning squad in 2011. The Delhi cricketer quit the game last December after failing to return to the national team in over two years and joined politics. He became a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party in March and is also contesting the ongoing Lok Sabha election from East Delhi constituency.

The 37-year-old former cricketer was a prolific scorer in the top order even though he was mentally vulnerable. India’s former mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton revealed in his newly released book ‘The Barefoot Coach’ that Gambhir was “mentally the most insecure” but that didn’t stop him from becoming successful as a national cricketer. The former southpaw had played two crucial knocks in the final of the T20 and 50-overs World Cups to help India register wins.

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Gambhir expressed confidence over Upton’s views

Upton’s views haven’t irked Gambhir, a man who is known for his strong viewpoints. Sportstar cited reports as saying that Gambhir expressed confidence over Upton’s views for he felt that the latter had no evil intention and called him a “nice man”.

In his book that discusses the issue of mental toughness of elite sportsmen and how they react to situations, Upton said: “I did some of my best and least effective mental conditioning work with Gautam Gambhir, the International Test Cricketer of the Year’ in 2009. I worked with him up until that time but I had little to do with him being named world’s best cricketer.”

According to the coach, Gambhir would be stressing more on his mistakes even after playing a big knock and he called the former cricketer as one whose ranking would be at the lower end of the optimism/pessimism scale.

Also read- Sachin Tendulkar concedes he is ‘no match’ for UK scribe Piers Morgan

“Let’s say his range was 20 to 40 with 30 being normal. When he scored 150, he would be disappointed in not scoring 200,” Upton said, adding that the former cricketer would remain pessimistic no matter what he or the then coach Garry Kirsten had told him.

I wanted myself and team to be the best in the world

“I wanted myself and Indian team to be the best in the world. That’s why I was not satisfied even after scoring 100 as it has been mentioned in Paddy’s book. I see nothing wrong there. As a driven individual I have tried to raise the bar for myself alone,” Gambhir was quoted as saying in response.

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