Arjun Tendulkar: Like father, like son
There was a familiar name at England’s training session at Lord’s on Wednesday. The Tendulkar on show this time, however, was not Sachin, but his son Arjun.
Arjun Tendulkar, a 15-year-old left-arm seamer, is a regular at the indoor school at Lord’s and was invited to join a group of net bowlers helping England prepare for the second Investec Ashes Test starting on Thursday after a polite request to get involved the previous day.
The Tendulkar family have an apartment not far from Lord’s which they often use at this time of year – Sachin was a spectator at Wimbledon a few days ago – and where once Sachin was a regular visitor to the MCC Academy, now it is Arjun in the nets and gym at the ground.
Neil Burns, the former county keeper who now mentors several players and is a friend of the Tendulkar family, made the initial request. Burns asked Paul Farbrace, the England assistant coach, if Arjun could watch training on Tuesday and then if he could participate on Wednesday.
While most of the England players had no idea of the surname of the young net bowler, several chatted to him and were surprised when they realised his young age. While not quite ideal preparation for the left-arm pace of Mitchell Johnson, Arjun is impressively sharp for one so young and maintained an admirable, probing length from a pleasing action throughout the session. At the end of it, Farbrace could be seen congratulating him and Arjun shook hands with several of the England players and coaches.
“Arjun is a regular user of the facilities here,” a spokesman for the MCC, who usually arrange net bowlers ahead of international games at the ground, told ESPNcricinfo. “So he was invited to bowl against the England team in training today.”
FACED UP TO YUVRAJ
Arjun was also involved in pre-match preparations in 2011 when Yuvraj Singh bowled to him in the nets ahead of the Test between England and India. Arjun was just 11 at the time.
During this year’s IPL, Arjun met Wasim Akram, who gave him some advice on left-arm swing bowling.
“He is as enthusiastic as any 15 year old passionate about cricket in India and Pakistan would be,” Wasim told NDTV. “I gave him some general tips about fitness and wrist position. I told him how to bring the ball back into the right-hander. I told him to practice it for three months and then I promised him to teach how to take the ball away from right-handers.”
He can also bat. Last September, he thrashed 188 off 42 balls for Dhirubhai Ambani International School Under-16s and he has played for Mumbai at age group level.