New Delhi, March 26 : Bengals dream run in the 2019-20 season of the Ranji Trophy is seen by many as the handwork of master tactician and old warhorse Arun Lal. But the coach believes that he wouldnt have been half as successful had it not been for the men who worked tirelessly behind the scenes like trainer Sanjib Das. A veteran in the domestic scene, Lal feels that this Bengal team is set to peak new heights and a lot of credit goes to the fitness level the boys have managed to reach.
Speaking to IANS, Lal said that both Sanjib and physio Usman did a tremendous job with the boys to ensure that workload was not an issue in a season which saw them travel across the length and breadth of the country.
"I always believed in running, working out and was more about core building than training in the nets during my time as a player. And with Sanjib he is special. He has a passion for it and isn't just doing a job. His work ethic is second to none and he is an inspiration in his work ethic itself. Even when we had an off day in our camp, he was always there. If any player rang him up and said they need some help, he was always there. To be available 24x7 is not a joke. He was a very special part of the whole journey," he explained.
"Coming together with him was a great boost as we worked like a team. I would tell him what I expected and he would produce it. Not only as a trainer, his work ethic, his passion, the pride he takes in his job, his performance it is all amazing. I was fortunate to have him. Not just him, even the physio Usman. He has huge experience and knew how to work according to situations. All this helped." Lal makes it clear that he was only using his experience to get the team together and motivate them to scale peaks they might have otherwise felt impossible. But he believes that the support system he had was what made it a cakewalk.
"Everyone spoke about how Arun did a good job, but I had a team which helped and I had to do a good job because they were all so good. Forget me, this kind of a set-up and the way the boys were playing was brilliant. Don't forget our fielding and batting coach Joydeep Mukherjee. He did everything and most importantly he knew the boys from before. He was an administrator, a manager. I didn't know the boys from before, he did. Even our bowling coach. It was a fantastic unit," he smiled.
Asked to talk further about the fitness aspect, Lal said that this is only the beginning and the show of the Bengal boys this season was no fluke. It will only get better with seasons to come.
"There has been a huge change when it comes to the fitness level of the boys. We had three fast bowlers who were playing constantly and none of them had workload issues. You know, last year I would call Ishan Porel an old lady just to anger him and make him work harder. But look at his fitness today, he is India material.
"The most important thing was that there was no Prima Donna in this team. Skipper Manoj Tiwary was playing his 100th game. While we have utmost respect for his contribution, but the treatment would be just like a debutant would be treated. They are all equal and wait till you see them next season, the show has just started," he signed off.