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Arun ready to guide Bengal to Ranji glory


Kolkata : Former Test cricketer Bharat Arun has taken up the challenge of helping West Bengal win the Ranji Trophy.

Talking to IANS on his arrival here as the new coach of the West Bengal Ranji team, Arun said: "I know the challenge lying ahead of me. It only motivates me to do better. I know this side has been runners twice and what I can at least do is get them the trophy."

A burly right arm medium pacer and a hard-hitting middle order batsman, Arun played for Tamil Nadu and was a prominent member of the Ranji Trophy winning side in 1987-88. Before his National Cricket Academy (NCA) stint, he was the coach of the Tamil Nadu team, which he guided to two successive Ranji Trophy finals in 2003 and 2004.

"I am here to do a job and I hope to do it well," he said.

Asked why the team crumbled at the final hurdle twice, he said: "It's too premature to tell right now. I am trying to talk to the players. My job will be to make them tough."

On his advice, Ketan Sooratwala, a sports psychologist from NCA, will be conducting a four-day session to gauge the mental toughness of the boys.

"I am trying to break up my pre-season into parts. It's like concentrating on the mental and physical toughness first and then going on to the technical and tactical aspects. This is a pressure oriented game and 90 percent of the success depends on how you shoulder the pressure," he said.

On the players, Arun said, "They were very open to me. The essence of success is transparency. They are an excellent pack of boys, very well gelled."

Asked to name a few of the players who could be the pivot pillars of the team, he said: "There are so many. Manoj and Abhishek are two of them. Then you have Ranadeb Bose. If Sourav Ganguly is available at some point of time we can make such good use of his wealth of experience. Deep is excellent."

On whether Bengal will play tournaments like Buchi Babu and Moin-ud-Dowla, he said: "Let's see what kind of preparations we have made. And if they are a good means for us to attain our goals why not? The sessions have been fruitful. I am happy at the way we are reacting to each other."

Arun has plans of organising practice matches for West Bengal against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka A sides. "It would be great if we could play a few practice matches against the two countries. It would be a good way to prepare the team for the season," he said.