For a large chunk of the last three years, there were expectations that Arjun Tendulkar, son of legendary batter, Sachin Tendulkar would make his Indian Premier League debut. But a debut has been derailed, and in the 2023 IPL, the left-arm seamer got his first opportunity in the grand league against Kolkata Knight Riders.
While going wicketless in that game, Arjun was mighty impressive with his bowling display, getting the ball to move in the first two overs of his spell. He continued his dazzling bowling display here in Hyderabad, during the clash against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, where he also picked up his maiden IPL wicket, removing Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Mumbai’s captain Rohit Sharma heaped praises on the youngster, stating that he has seen the left-arm seamer grow over the last few years. Alongside that, Rohit also credited Arjun for having a ‘clear plan’ in place, which makes it very easy for him to perform in the tournament.
"Arjun has been a part of this team for the last three years [though he didn't make the XI]. I have seen him grow over the years. He understands what he wants to do and he is quite confident about what he wants to do for the team as well,” Rohit said in the aftermath of the clash against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
"We saw in this lead up to the IPL what he was doing; he was bowling fast, nailing those yorkers, and quite clear in his plans as well. Keeping things easy - that's what he is trying to do [for the team]. He is trying to swing the new ball and bowl yorkers at the death."
Arjun, on the other hand, was ecstatic on his maiden IPL wicket stating that the focus was on executing the plans to perfection. The 23-year-old who plays for Goa also added that it was a conscious decision to draw the batter to hit on the longer end of the ground in Hyderabad during his spell at the death.
"Obviously it was great getting my first IPL wicket. I just had to focus on what was in hand, the plan and execute it," Tendulkar said after the game on the official broadcast. "Our plan [in the last over] was just to bowl wide and get the long boundary [on the off side] into play, make the batsman hit it to the longer side."
The all-rounder also insisted that he is ready to bowl at any phase, stating that he ‘loves bowling’ and only wants to give his best for the five-time IPL-winning franchise, Mumbai Indians.
"I love bowling, I am happy to bowl anytime the captain asks me to and just stick to the team plan and give my best," he said afterwards.
Arjun also credited his dad, Sachin for playing an integral role in his growth, and talked about his influence before the clash, revealing that they discussed tactics.
"We [Sachin Tendulkar and he] talk about cricket, we discuss tactics before the game and he tells me to back what I practise every game," Tendulkar Jr said. "That's it. [In today's game] I just focused on my release, bowling good lengths and lines upfront. If it swings, it's a bonus, if it doesn't, so be it."