MS Dhoni’s calmness set tone for India’s 2011 World Cup victory, reveals Paddy Upton
India’s strength and conditioning coach in 2011, Paddy Upton has said that MS Dhoni’s calmness set the tone for the Indian team’s World Cup victory. He also added that he believed Dhoni would go on and win the World Cup for India when he walked out to bat at No.4 ahead of Yuvraj Singh.
"Dhoni finishes it off in style, India lifts the World Cup after 28 years," was how Indian fans would describe the 2011 World Cup victory. Paddy Upton, who worked as India’s strength and conditioning coach, has revealed that MS Dhoni’s calm attitude was key to India’s second World Cup victory.
Upton added that it set a tone in the camp on how India went around in the global tournament. India won their second World Cup after 28 years, with the first one being led by the legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev.
“Dhoni was a strong, silent type as a leader. He led through his own performances, often taking the team to victory in high pressure situations with the bat. (He) also led by showing a calm head and demeanor during high-pressure moments. Dhoni being calm, particularly in these high-pressure moments, along with the coaching staff deliberately being calm and measured, set the tone and example for players to follow,” Upton told TOI.
Interestingly, the Indian skipper walked in at No.4 ahead of Yuvraj Singh in the World Cup final much to the surprise of the fans. However, Paddy recalled how he told Kirsten that Dhoni is going to win the World Cup for India, when the Indian skipper walked out to bat. In the end, it was Dhoni who remained unbeaten on 91*, finishing the game for the country and clinching them their first World Cup in 28 years.
“The first time I really connected with the World Cup trophy coming to India was when Dhoni was walking down the steps to bat in that final, ahead of Yuvraj Singh. I turned to Gary Kirsten sitting next to me, and said “do you realize that Dhoni is going down those steps to fetch us the trophy?” he concluded.