At the IPL auction 2021, Arjun Tendulkar, son of legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, was roped in by Mumbai Indians in the last few moments of the event which took place in Chennai. Soon after Arjun signed up for the IPL auction, it was speculated that Mumbai Indians might buy him at the auction given the fact that he has been bowling to the Mumbai batsmen in nets for a couple of years now.
Mumbai Indians did buy Arjun at his base price of Rs 20 lakhs. At a virtual press conference, the MI think tank was asked about the reason why they went for Arjun and also how much pressure would he be under because of his father.
After successfully making bid for Arjun, Mumbai Indians head coach and former Sri Lanka legendary captain Mahela Jayawardene said that the MI management saw potential in Arjun – who had been bowling to the MI batsmen in the nets and was rewarded for his hard work. Mahela went on to add that it would be a proud moment for Sachin to see Arjun wearing MI jersey.
“He has worked hard for a couple of years now, coming to the nets and bowling to the guys, he especially worked very hard in UAE with us. Not only Arjun, but we also picked Yudhvir as well who was one of our bowlers who came to the nets. Whenever we see guys are working hard, we try and invest in that. It’s great to have Arjun and it would exciting times for Sachin as well to see Arjun wearing the Mumbai T-shirt and be a part of the squad,” said Mahela.
MI Director of Cricket Operations, Zaheer Khan, opined that while Arjun will have to live with the fact that he is the son of the batting icon, he will have to prove himself to MI’s coaching staff to show that he belongs there.
“I have spent lots of time with him in the nets, trying to teach him a few tricks of the trade. He is a hard working kid and he is keen on learning. That’s the exciting part. The added pressure of the name Sachin Tendulkar is always going to be there with him, something he will have to live by. But the environment we have around the team is certainly going to help him become a better cricketer with the likes of Shane Bond and Mahela around. I wish him the best. We are looking at things under a very simple lense. He is just a youngster coming into the side. But he has to prove himself, has to show the coaching staff and the think tank of the team that he has got the goods to belong there. So what he does at the highest level in his hands,” said Zaheer, who was also present at the table during the auctions.