Tendulkar Jr to present himself in IPL, says franchise

Sachin Tendulkar’s son Arjun was selected “purely on the skill” and he will have to prove himself at this year’s Indian Premier League, the IPL franchise has stated.

With his $2.24 million shift to Rajasthan Royals on Thursday, South African Chris Morris smashed IPL auction records, but all eyes were on the fate of the 21-year-old with the most prominent surname in Indian cricket.

Arjun joined Mumbai at his base price of two million Indian rupees ($27,522), having been their net bowler in the last IPL, in the last purchase of the players’ auction in Chennai.

In a video call, head coach Mahela Jayawardene said, “We’ve looked at it purely on a skill basis,”

“There’s going to be a major stigma on his head because of Sachin. But luckily he’s a bowler, not a batsman. I think Sachin will be very proud if he could bowl like Arjun.”

Sachin retired as the most prolific batsman in international cricket in 2013 with combined 34,000-plus runs and 100 centuries.

Arjun made his senior debut in last month’s Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy after playing under-16 and under-19 cricket for Mumbai.

“We have to give him time and hopefully not put a lot of pressure on him. Just let him evolve and work his way up. We need to give him time to not place a great deal of pressure on him, ideally. Just let him grow and make his way up,” former Sri Lanka captain Jayawardene said.

Zaheer Khan, the franchise director of cricket operations, hoped that Arjun would grow better under bowling coach Shane Bond.

“The added pressure of the name Sachin Tendulkar is always going to be there on him which he’ll have to live by,” former India pacer Zaheer said.

He needs to prove himself. He has to convince both the coaching staff that he belongs there and the team think-tank.

“What he does at the highest level is something in his own hands.”

Arjun thanked the franchise for having expressed faith in him.

“Since childhood, I’ve been a die-hard fan of the Mumbai Indians … I’m excited to join the team and can’t wait to wear the blue-and-gold.”

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