Arguably the most complete batsman of his time, the most prolific run-scorer of all time and undeniably the biggest cricket icon the game has ever known — Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is the embodiment of the collective pride of India.
With his masterful batting and calm demeanor, Tendulkar carried the hopes of a billion fans every time he walked out in the middle with his iconic ‘MRF’ willow. We celebrated his hundreds with him and also felt devastated when he got dismissed.
So much so, that when he decided to call it a day in international cricket, an entire nation was overwhelmed by a state of mourning. An icon, a god and a great ambassador of the game walked into the shadows. While we aren’t going to see the Master Blaster playing on the field, all eyes are now glued on his son Arjun as international cricket and fans await the return of Tendulkar – a southpaw this time.
Ever since proving his mettle in Mumbai’s famed Inter-schools Harris Shield, Arjun has been the subject of immense criticism and scrutiny with the media keeping a close watch on the youngster. As noticed in other cases, a precocious talent cannot bloom naturally like other kids without the burden of a famous surname.
Whether he’s on the field or off it, Arjun has already been the victim of high and unfair expectations. Neither those who expect another Sachin Tendulkar in Arjun, nor those venting their anger at him because they couldn’t at his father, will do any good. But, Arjun has not allowed those things affect him or his game – a trait he picked up from his father.
In September, the sheer dedication and hardwork of the 17-year-old saw him getting selected to represent Mumbai in the All India Under-19 Invitational One-Day tournament. And, if that wasn’t enough, the fact that he was roped in as one of the net bowlers to help the Indian batsman prepare for the upcoming ODI series against New Zealand, proves that he’s clearly rising through the ranks.
Ahead of the first ODI at the Wankhede stadium, Arjun was seen bowling to the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Kedar Jadhav in Team India’s net session. He was also involved in an intense bowling session against the Indian captain which was aimed at helping the Indian captain to familiarize him with the left-arm pace of New Zealand speedster Trent Boult.
While growing up, Arjun was a regular visitor at the Team India nets since his father was still playing the game, but his maiden experience of bowling to some of the biggest names in international cricket – with coach Ravi Shastri and bowling coach Bharat Arun looking on, must have left the budding left-arm seamer a lot richer.
— Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) 22 July 2017
But, this isn’t the first time when Arjun has helped his seniors in net sessions. He had also helped the Indian women’s team at the iconic Lord’s before their ICC Women’s World Cup final against England.
In July this year, England witnessed an injury scare ahead of the first Test against South Africa after Jonny Bairstow suffered an unexpeced knock on his foot. The England batsman was hit by a yorker off Arjun’s delivery during a net session at Lord’s. Bairstow limped out of the nets after playing just one delivery from the youngster.
It’s never easy to step into the shoes of an iconic parent, especially someone as towering as the great Sachin Tendulkar. Cricket has seen quite a few sons falling quickly by the wayside because the pressure of expectations of having to play a game with a famous surname in which the father had excelled.
Rohan Gavaskar, son of Sunil Gavaskar, is a prime example. While his father is considered one of the greatest opening batsmen of all time, Rohan had to remain content with just 11 ODI appearances for India before eventually fading out. Liam Botham (son of Ian Botham) and Mali Richards (son of Vivian Richards) also failed to set the cricket field alight.
But, while many crumble under the weight of expectations, only a handful allow pressure to define them. And, though it’s too early to speculate on his future or whether he’ll be able to emulate his father’s success, Arjun’s rise (in his own capacity) promises the return of Tendulkar – a name that continues to echo in international cricket.
Source of news : Mensxp