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Paddy Upton reveals the fondest memory of the 2011 World Cup campaign

The current Rajasthan Royals' head coach worked previously as the mental conditioning and strategic leadership coach for the Indian side.

Paddy Upton
Paddy Upton. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Indian cricket has a very fond connection with South African coaches. Let that be “The Guru” Gary Kirsten or one of the most important members of his coaching staff, Paddy Upton. Paddy Upton worked as the mental conditioning and strategic leadership coach and began his duties in 2008 till the iconic 2011 World Cup final. He currently is the head coach of Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.

Crictracker caught up with the South African exclusively in Jaipur during the Red Bull Campus Cricket Nationals. He spoke at length about the unforgettable experience of being with a World Cup winning side and recollected some fond memories of that incredible tournament and also talked about the months of hard work leading up to it.

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“The fondest memory for me was planning in great detail on how we will go about things till the final on 2nd April 2011. The players paid real attention every single day to ticking off little bits and pieces. There was a real purpose in each day leading up to the 2nd of April.

“When that moment happened, Dhoni hit that six, there was 10 months of ecstasy packed into 4 minutes. We were such a strong and unified team, we knew we could manage even the most difficult of circumstances,” Upton said.

Upton picks his favorites for the 2019 World Cup

The South African coach also talked about the current World Cup and the sides which stand a better chance at winning it. He reckons India, South Africa and Australia are the hot favourites to win the tournament with the likes of Windies, South Africa and New Zealand having a decent shot. He also spoke on how individual form could be a crucial factor as the tournament progresses.

“This format really provides a fair opportunity for the best sides to prove themselves. I think India, Australia and England are hot-favourites and South Africa might make it but will face competition from other sides. There’s New Zealand, there are Windies who obviously can do anything on their day. All the four teams who make it to the semi-finals will have an equal opportunity to win, but I reckon the team with the most in-form players at that time will take the trophy home,” he said.

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