For many years, the name Tendulkar was a feared one in the cricket world as Sachin terrorised bowling attacks. Now, his fast bowler son Arjun is making his U/19 India debut.

By Daniel Herborn

Posted on July 18, 2018

All eyes are on 18-year-old Arjun Tendulkar who is playing with the Indian U/19 team in Sri Lanka. He took one wicket for 33 in his first taste of U/19 international cricket, trapping opening batsman Kamil Mishara LBW.

The son of the cricket legend has broken into the team mostly based on promise though he has put together some strong performances for Mumbai at youth level.

Unlike his batting maestro father, Arjun is a lanky left-arm medium fast bowler. He has attracted attention with his ability to get the ball to swing late.

Despite his young age, Tendulkar has already had some exposure to senior international cricket. He was drafted in as a net bowler for the England team in July 2017. He even put an injury scare through the Test team when he struck English batsman-keeper Jonny Bairstow on the toe with a yorker with his first ball. Bairstow was forced to hobble off and put his foot in a compressor.

Arjun has grown up around international cricket

Tendulkar has been training with Atul Gaikwad and had to remodel his action after being plagued by two stress fractures that caused him to miss much of the 2016-17 youth season. He has also worked closely with former Test cricketer Subroto Banerjee who has been credited with successfully mentoring Umesh Yhadav and Rajneesh Gurbani.

The young cricketer may benefit from being around elite players from a young age. When he was just 11, he was batting to Indian dynamo Yuvraj Singh in the nets. He also picked up some tips about swing bowling technique and fitness from Pakistan legend Wasim Akram during the Indian Premier League.

Observers who saw Arjun playing for an invitational side in Australia described him as a smart bowler and a “breezy” lower-order batsman with a flashing cover drive.

Tendulkar junior bats in the lower order but has some good innings to his name, including a century for the Sunil Gavaskar XI in the Mumbai Cricket Association Under-16 Payyade Trophy. He also smashed a blitzkrieg 188 from 42 balls in a school match.

Sachin Tendulkar has vowed not to interfere in Arjun’s career

For his part, Sachin Tendulkar has said he did not pressure his son to take up cricket. He believes his son should be free to make his way in the game without the burden of his famous surname.

“I am not interfering in his career because I think it is not fair,” Sachin told The Economic Times.

“He has to have freedom to express himself. I can guide him. Not on a regular basis, but when I feel that he needs to be told something, then I do.”

While his father may be hoping Arjun is allowed to make a low-key entrance to international cricket, at least one of Arjun’s teammates has already been starstruck.

His roommate for the tour, Yashasvi Jaiswal, was reportedly starstruck by his proximity to cricketing royalty and begged Arjun for a meeting with Sachin. Jaiswal came away from the meeting with a signed bat and some invaluable advice.

“It was my dream which came true. I got a bit nervous. I could not believe it was him,” he told reporters.

“I asked him as many questions as I could about my game and he explained with examples. He told me how I could change my thoughts in different situations.”

Sachin Tendulkar played 200 Tests and 463 one-day internationals in an international career that was both lengthy and consistently brilliant. During his career, he was voted the most influential Indian sportsperson and he continues to be widely popular today.

One of Tendulkar’s greatest rivals, Australian captain Steve Waugh, also has a talented son making his way through the ranks. Austin Waugh is considered one of the brightest batting talents in Australia.