'We will dominate for some more time'

'We will dominate for some more time'

J Arun Kumar on Thursday achieved the rare feat of winning the Ranji Trophy title twice in succession as player and as coach.  

Arun was part of the Karnataka side that won the title in 1997-98 and 1998-99, besides being the batting coach in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

The former Karnataka captain shared his thoughts on another successful Ranji campaign:
On defending the title: Definitely it was more difficult because there is a little bit of pressure. People expect you to retain the title. But we all enjoyed it. The same group of guys, I think, can dominate the Indian circuit for some time to come.

On preparation: It was more about mental approach. Yeah, there were a few technical aspects too. But when you get in that confidence zone then 90 per cent of the things fall in place. Take Karun for example. He went and played an under-23 game after a lean period and got a hundred there. He got a lot of confidence from that match. Then he came back and played a big knock in the crucial game. Karun is the best example of what a confident player can do on a big occasion.

On rotating players: As a coach when you pick the best eleven then you are bound to disappoint a few people. We pick the eleven depending on the particular wicket. If the wicket has lot of green on it then we need to play an extra bowler, and otherwise we need to pick an extra batsman.

In that process, a few might get hurt. But we have spoken about it before and during the season that it has nothing to do with a player not being good enough to play for the State. It is simply because certain guys have to play on certain types of wickets. So, there is no bitterness in the team. We do a lot of one on one chat, so that there’s a personal feeling to it. Just that we need to know the time to speak. Sometimes they will be in the middle of a good run so that they will be more in a mindset to heed. Sometimes they can get rebellious when you talk much, so it’s a very sensitive act.

On the continuity of team and support staff: It will take at least two years for a coach to understand the team and the team to understand the coach. I emphasised on individual work ethics and working together as a team. Initially they will take some time to build the trust. They will be watching you from the corner of their eyes – is this guy right? These guys are very clever and street smart, you can’t manipulate them. It is important to be honest with them. Once that trust factor comes they will perform better and give you results. That’s what happened with this team.

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