J. Arun Kumar says that Hyderabad is a dream team to coach in Ranji Trophy this season and that it reminds him of his days (as a player and then as a winning coach) with Karnataka.

“I could not have asked for a better team than this fantastic combination. The confidence is on a high, especially after winning two major events — Moin-ud-Dowla Gold Cup and the Buchi Babu Trophy. In fact, there is pressure on me after the good work done by Bharat Arun (last season as coach) and Arjun (Yadav) at the start of this season,” says Arun Kumar on the eve of the season campaign.

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“I see the same hunger in this Hyderabad team which was there when I coached Karnataka to Ranji victory. I like the way players keep helping each other, discussing cricket. This shows that they are all motivated and thinking big — beyond this Ranji Trophy,” the 42-year-old coach said.

“The team has wonderful balance in bowling and batting. The batting looks formidable with the top six performing consistently. The best part being that most of them have been playing good quality cricket for four years now,” the new coach said at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Thursday.

Interestingly, Arun said he was optimistic of getting the services of left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, who as of now is yet to be released by the Cricket Association of Bengal after he opted to come back to Hyderabad again this season having played for the former in the last edition.

“It is not all about playing cricket the hard way but about how smartly you play. It is more of a mind game and it is important to keep dominating as many sessions as possible in a four-day game,” Arun said.

“It is good to start the season with two home games, which is always a huge advantage against any team. So, it is important to start off well. Yes, you need a little bit of cricketing luck on any given day to have the edge in any aspect of the game,” he signed off, before the fielding session with the Ambati Rayudu-led outfit.