As the Sunrisers Hyderabad cricketers walked into the hotel lobby in Mohali on Wednesday morning, two of its players — Siddharth Kaul and Bipul Sharma — walked up to a gentleman waiting in one corner of the lobby.
They chatted for a while and a few minutes later, both Kaul and Sharma were busy discussing a few things with the gentleman, who happens to Abhinav Bindra’s mentor — Dr Amit Bhattacharjee.
The noted mental conditioning coach, who played a key role in Bindra’s success at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, is regarded as one of the leading mental conditioning instructors. Only last week, Sportstar had reported on how Bhattacharjee’s classes helped Kings XI Punjab batsman Manan Vohra overcome the odds and play a blazing knock of 95 against the Sunrisers.
And now, as both the teams lock horns again, this time at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Saturday, Bhattacharjee may be a bit confused as far as rooting for a team is concerned. While his old ward Vohra is in decent form for the Kings XI, the other two students, Kaul and Sharma, too will be hoping to make every opportunity count. “The SRH players (Kaul and Sharma) came to me this morning to know a thing or two. They discussed points on how to eliminate fear during the IPL. It being a long and strenuous tournament, the players always need that extra bit of mental support,” Bhattacharjee told Sportstar on Wednesday.
The interesting part, however, is the way Bhattacharjee is motivating all his students. While he is trying to make Vohra understand the nitty-gritty of taming a bowler, Kaul and Sharma are being given tips on how to attack the batsmen. “It’s a strange feeling really. Guiding three students in three different ways is itself a tough task, and then you need to ensure that all of them achieve the goal — success,” said Bhattacharjee.
While he has trained Kaul in the past, Sharma is a new entrant. “Bipul told me that he too is interested in taking special mental conditioning classes. For a cricketer, such classes are required to keep himself mentally refreshed,” Bhattacharjee said.
His major assignment at the moment is to ensure that all the three students stay fresh and can deliver the goods. “All of them are good players, it’s just that they need a little more pushing. Once they are mentally geared up, things should be easy,” the senior mental coach added.
A resident of Mohali, Bhattacharjee would be heading to the stadium on Saturday to watch his wards play. After all, nothing is more joyous than seeing the wards deliver the goods!
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