The Tendulkar family is making headlines once again, with Sachin’s son, Arjun, impressing in his debut for the Mumbai Indians in the IPL. Sachin himself retired from competitive cricket a decade ago but Arjun’s performance in the IPL has caught the attention of cricket fans worldwide. In his first match against the Kolkata Knight Riders, Arjun bowled the first and third over and returned with figures of 2-0-17-0. His role was the same in the next match against Sunrisers Hyderabad, where he gave away 14 runs with the new ball. However, in the final over, with Sunrisers needing 20 runs with two wickets in hand, Arjun held his nerves to concede just four runs and picked up his maiden IPL wicket, helping the Mumbai Indians secure a victory.
In three matches, Arjun has picked up two wickets at an economy rate of 10.6. He has shown his abilities with both the old and new ball, and Rohit Sharma, the Mumbai Indians captain, has even tested him in the middle overs. Brett Lee, the pace legend, has been “super impressed” with Arjun’s performance and praised his all-round bowling ability in T20 cricket.
“When he was given the responsibility of bowling at the death the other evening, when he closed out the game and won the match for the Mumbai Indians, whichever way it went, I knew it would have been a great experience. What I mean is that he has been thrown into the deep end and that has been great for him. So he is learning as he goes,” Lee told Hindustan Times.
“And like in the other evening when he got hit for a few runs, that is fine. It happens in T20 cricket and I keep reiterating to bowlers that in this format there will be games when bowlers go the journey. It has happened to me so many times. So you have to take the emotion out of it,” Former Australian pacer added.
Arjun’s performances have garnered attention on social media, but he has also faced criticism. When an IPL graphic revealed his bowling speed to be 107.2 kmph during the Sunrisers Hyderabad game, fans were quick to criticize. However, Brett Lee advised Arjun to take a leaf out of Sachin’s career and not pay attention to the outside noise.
“I think he can do all facets. The thing with Arjun Tendulkar is I have been super impressed. I feel he has been in wonderful fine form for the Mumbai Indians. His new-ball bowling is outstanding, he is swinging the ball, he is getting the most swing out of the Mumbai Indians. He is well-suited for the middle overs and with experience he will enjoy bowling at the death overs. I am all praise for him,” Lee added.
“People criticise almost everything. If you look at Sandeep Sharma, he has been bowling at 120 kph. Arjun is at least bowling way faster than that. He is only 23 years of age and he has got his whole career ahead of him. My advice will be don’t listen to critics. Like his dad had to go through like he misses out and gets a low score…you got to back yourself. He has got some wonderful skills.”
“He can bowl at 140 kph so as soon as he gets comfortable bowling in the team environment, in front of the big lights and big crowd, his pace will increase. I see no issue with his pace. I know how fast he can bowl. He has got all the talent and all the right attributes. So my advice would be tokeep doing what you have been doing and don’t listen to those people who are trying to have a go at him because remember most people who will criticise on social media have never bowled a ball in their life. They are keyboard warriors,” he said.
Overall, Arjun’s performance in the IPL has been impressive, and he has shown that he has what it takes to excel at the highest level. As the son of one of India’s greatest cricketers, he will undoubtedly face high expectations, but with his talent and dedication, he has the potential to carve out a successful career for himself in the years to come.