Bharat Arun: 'It's about players understanding themselves better'

Bharat Arun, the coach of Hyderabad for this Ranji Trophy season, expressed quiet satisfaction at the side’s progress. He talked about the work behind the scenes reflecting in performances on the field.

"My job is to give them (players) a lot of feedback and see what they feel about themselves, and tell what I feel about them,” said Arun, part of the India coaching group earlier.   -  V.V. Subrahmanyam

Bharat Arun, coaching Hyderabad for this Ranji Trophy season, expressed quiet satisfaction at the side’s progress in Group C. He talked about the work behind the scenes reflecting in performances on the field, the latest being an emphatic 286-run win over Jammu & Kashmir at Motibaug ground on Friday. The next game is at Lucknow against Andhra.

The consistent factor this season, competing on pitches on neutral venues, is contribution from different players. “It's about them understanding themselves better. I throw the challenge for them to become more consistent in their strengths.”

A century in each innings by opener Tanmay Agarwal against J & K was an example of self-discovery. The left-hander demonstrated self-belief in individual skills at the crease. Ravi Kiran and Chama Milind (both six-wicket hauls) were two others to rise to the occasion.

“The most important thing is for a player to realise what he's capable of, what his strengths and shortcomings are. My job is to give them a lot of feedback and see what they feel about themselves, and tell what I feel about them,” said Arun, part of the India coaching group earlier.

The coach said: “When I took up (the offer), Hyderabad had finished second last year. I didn't want to go into what had happened in the previous years, just wanted to have a good look at the players and said let's start afresh.

"I wanted to build a relationship with them. I also requested them to give me two coaches of my choice (Daya and Zaqir). That's the only thing I asked, both have been very good with the team." Subramaniam Badrinath as captain was a major help.

The former Indian middle-order batsman joined as a professional after a stint with Vidarbha in domestic cricket earlier. “We're lucky to have someone like Badrinath in the team,” said Arun.

“I know him well from a very young age, it makes things easy for both. Together we understand the team well. The way he handles situations has been excellent. It comes from years of experience. Badri played 16 years of first-class cricket and has 450 matches under his belt. Experience cannot be bought in a supermarket.”

“CV Milind is someone I know from his under-19 days. I was impressed with Siraj as a net bowler when Royal Challengers Bangalore was preparing in Hyderabad, and Ravi Kiran also is impressive.”

Arun is determined to work with the present lot and try to restore the team's reputation. “Hyderabad has a very rich tradition and was a force to reckon with in Indian cricket. Somehow, it doesn't occupy the same space that it used to. So we said, 'let's set about challenging ourselves'.”

Badrinath’s team is within striking range of the knockout phase and the coach is realistic. “The most important thing for us is the Andhra game (at Lucknow), we aren't thinking beyond that.”

Hyderabad is a different cricket set-up, compared to the earlier coaching stints by players at first-class or national level. Asked about adapting to a new group and culture, the coach said: “For me, it's my profession. The challenge is how soon do I set an atmosphere that players would find comfortable to interact.

"It's not a question of just interacting, coaching is about sharing strengths, shortcomings and fears. It's a question of dealing with the mind. I need to to know what they're thinking, otherwise it be tough for me to make an impact."