Gautam Gambhir said on Wednesday that he “doesn’t see anything wrong” in Paddy Upton’s assessment of his insecurities, but asserted that he was not a vulnerable man, citing the 97 he made in the 2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka in Mumbai to prove his point.
In his new book The Barefoot Coach, India’s former mental conditioning coach has written about notions of mental toughness and how Gambhir, despite being one of the finest Indian batsmen of his time, was perhaps also “one of the weakest and mentally most insecure.”
“Paddy is a genuinely nice man and he won’t have done anything with any sinful intentions.
“I have full faith in him,” said Gambhir.
“In any case, my insecurities as a cricketer are well-documented.
“It is not as if Paddy has spoken about something that was not there in the public domain,” said Gambhir, the hero of India’s 2007 World T20 and 2011 World Cup victories.
For Gambhir, the insecurity, he said, stemmed from his burning desire to attain perfection and that he was not “hurt” that Upton had termed him “negative and pessimistic.”
“It doesn’t hurt me, but I would like to put things in perspective. Look, what Paddy couldn’t say — maybe he didn’t know, or the publisher of the book chose to edit it out — was that I wanted the Indian team and myself to be the best in the world.
Hungry for more
“That is why I was not satisfied even after scoring a 100 and wanted to score 200 as has been mentioned in Paddy’s book. I see nothing wrong there.
“As a driven individual, I have always strived to be the best and raise the bar for myself,” said the 37-year-old.
Gambhir isn’t hurt by the public disclosure of what were supposed to be personal sessions with the South African.
“No, no… I am not hurt at all. Like I said, Paddy is a top man.
“But I’d like to set the record straight that a vulnerable person can’t score in pressure situations of a World Cup final,” said Gambhir.
Being deemed weakest was perhaps the only point on which Gambhir differed with Upton.