Two years after Mumbai Indians raised the paddle during an auction, Arjun Tendulkar on Sunday finally made his IPL debut for the franchise in an afternoon game against Kolkata Knight Riders.
Arjun, the son of batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, is a tall left-arm fast bowling allrounder who has been grinding it out in the domestic circuit. The pair thus became the first ever father-son duo to represent the same IPL franchise.
Like his famous father, Arjun too started out his professional journey as a cricketer with India domestic powerhouse Mumbai but lack of enough game time meant he took a decision to make the switch to Goa.
Arjun, 23, played just two T20 games for Mumbai during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2020-21 following which he applied for a No-Objection Certificate from his home association (Mumbai Cricket Association) .
The decision bore immediate results. Like Sachin Tendulkar, Arjun too scored a century on his first-class debut.
In 1988, a 15-year-old Sachin scored his maiden ton for Mumbai during a Ranji Trophy game against Gujarat on December 11.
34 years later, on December 14, 2022, Arjun, FC debut, made 120 off 207 against Rajasthan during which he also stitched a 221-run partnership with Suyash Prabhudesai who struck a double-century.
An Impressive VHT And a Decent SMAT
Prior to his Ranji debut, Arjun played some white-ball cricket for Goa. In the Vijay Hazare Trophy, India’s premier domestic one-day competition, he was their leading wicket-take with seven scalps from eight matches.
He had also represented Goa in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s. Arjun finished as their second-highest wicket taker with 10 scalps from seven matches and impressed with his economy rate of 5.69.
Bearing a famous surname meant Arjun was bound to be in the limelight and the fact that he chose to follow into the footsteps of his father, arguably the greatest batter of his generation, meant his every little on-field step, significant or not, drew media gaze.
Arjun drew wide attention as a 17-year-old while he was practicing with the England Test team at the hallowed Lord’s.
England wicketkeeper-batter Jonny Bairstow faced just one delivery from Arjun, a yorker, and his left foot bore the brunt of the toe-crusher. Bairstow reportedly hobbled out of the nets giving his team an injury scare.
Like Father Like Son
Sachin Tendulkar played 78 matches for MI and scored 2334 runs including one century and 13 half-centuries besides winning the title in his final season as a player. Since then, he has been involved with the franchise in the role of a mentor.
Arjun would hope today is just the first of many more games for MI.