Arjun Tendulkar opens up on what playing for Mumbai Indians means to him

MI head coach Mahela Jayawardene said that they considered picking Arjun in the Players' Auction purely from a skill set point of view.

Saurabh Ganguly Author

Updated - 20 February 2021 10:34 am

Arjun Tendulkar, son of cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, is excited to join five-time champions Mumbai Indians. Arjun revealed that he has always been a "die-hard" fan of the franchise. MI led by Rohit Sharma picked up Arjun Tendulkar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jimmy Neesham, Yudhvir Charak, Marco Jansen, and Piyush Chawla in the IPL 2021 auction on Thursday.

"Since childhood, I've been a die-hard fan of Mumbai Indians.. I would like to thank coaches, owners, and support staff for showing faith in me. I am excited to join MI paltan," Arjun said in a video posted by Mumbai Indians on their Twitter handle on Thursday. "I'm excited to join the team and can't wait to wear the blue-and-gold," he added. The left-handed all-rounded was bought by Mumbai Indians for his base price of Rs 20 lakh, having been their net bowler in the last IPL.

Sachin will be very proud if he could bowl like Arjun: Jayawardene

Meanwhile, MI head coach Mahela Jayawardene explained the team's decision to bid for him in the auction. Jayawardene stated that they looked at it purely from the point of view of the skill he possesses. The Sri Lankan great admitted that there would be a big tag on his head because of his father but acknowledged that Arjun has a very different skill set than Sachin as he is primarily a left arm pacer. "I think Sachin will be very proud if he could bowl like Arjun," he said.

After playing at the Under-16 and Under-19 level for Mumbai, Arjun made his senior debut in last month's Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The MI coach also pointed out the need to give him time and not put undue pressure on him but just let him evolve and climb his way up the ladder. Meanwhile, the franchise's director of cricket operations, Zaheer Khan, hopes that Arjun would grow better under bowling coach Shane Bond. But Zaheer reckons that Arjun would have to find a way to live by the added pressure, following his father's rich cricket legacy.

"He has to prove himself. He has to show all the coaching staff, and the team think-tank, that he belongs there. What he does at the highest level is something in his own hands," Zaheer Khan quoted.