Mental health has been a topic of discussion at the international level for the past few months. Late in 2019 and early 2020, many Australian cricketers expressed their problems with mental health. Glenn Maxwell and Nic Maddinson were some players who took breaks from cricket to fight away their mental demons. Months later, former Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh has also emphasised on the need to have a sports psychologist to help young players.
The former India star pointed out that there are young players in the current Indian team, who need to be guided. He explained that the media scrutiny is very intense and players need people to help them from the mental front.
“In this team, there is no one to talk to about the mental front of players. Guys like Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant are so talented. But now with so much scrutiny and media around, you need somebody to talk to,” Yuvraj said on a Youtube show. “The team needs a good psychologist. But he has to be respected,” said the 38-year-old.
As he mentioned about Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant, the ex-Indian player also talked about Hardik Pandya. He revealed he thinks the all-rounder can be a great asset for the Indian team at the 2023 World Cup at home. However, the left-handed batsman also expressed that Pandya needs someone to work on his mind.
Yuvraj Singh heaps praise on Hardik Pandya
“Hardik Pandya has immense potential. He has got amazing talent. Someone needs to work with his head so that he can perform in crunch situations. If somebody can work on his mind, he can be a serious asset as we go to the next World Cup.” he added.
The 38-year-old also said that he thinks there is a lack of versatility in the current coaching staff. He pointed out that Ravi Shastri has not dealt with different players in different ways.
“Under Ravi Shastri, players have done really well. They won in Australia. As a coach, I don’t know how he is. I have hardly played under him. I know that you can’t have a particular way with every player. You have to have different ways with every player and I don’t see that in the coaching staff”, said Yuvraj.
Talking about the current Indian batting coach, Vikram Rathour, Yuvraj expressed his concern about Rathour’s lack of experience at the international level. He said that with the current generation is more inclined towards T20 which creates a difference between the players’ mindset and the coach’s mindset.
“You have guys like Vikram Rathour (India batting coach), he has been my senior. He has been a mentor at times when I was playing state, but with due respect, if someone has not played cricket at that level for a longer time, the younger generation which is more prone to T20 and shorter format…what are you going to tell them? He might tell them technique, but there is nobody to work on the mental side,” he concluded.