The weight of the Tendulkar surname has its virtues and pitfalls. Arjun Tendulkar would have realised that on a cricket pitch, the ultimate measure of success is performance and the surname does not count for much. But in his case, it is enough to get media attention, even at the expense of his other performing teammates. It is well known that every time he comes out to bat or bowl, every minuscule aspect of his performance will be dissected and discussed. And it has been proven true in his maiden India U19 appearance which has taken the limelight away from teammates Ayush Badoni and Atharwa Taide during the ongoing Youth Test series against Sri Lanka.
Sachin Tendulkar’s son Arjun did not have an ideal start to his career as India U-19 player as he managed to take only a wicket in the first Sri Lankan innings and he did not bother the scorers, getting out for a duck. But sadly the focus has been on him while neglecting Badoni who hammered an unbeaten 185 besides taking four wickets, and Atharwa Taide, who cracked 113 off 160 balls. Riding on their centuries, India reached a mammoth total of 589. In reply, Sri Lanka were 177/3 at the end of Day 3, with Tendulkar toiling away for 7 overs without taking a wicket.
Arjun’s selection to the Indian under-19 team was widely reported and dissected and even started a nepotism debate on social media. His performances have so far been modest and the fact was not lost upon the netizens, who began comparing him with the likes of Rohan Gavaskar and Sanjay Manjrekar, who could themselves not live up to the standards set by their legendary fathers. Even a few months ago when the left-arm pacer bamboozled England’s Johny Bairstow, hitting him on the toe, the media went gaga over it, dubbing him the next “prodigy”.
The weight of the famous surname will always be there but it remains to be seen if junior Tendulkar can answer his critics with noteworthy performances in the rest of the series. India are scheduled to play two Youth Test matches and five ODIs. The second Youth Test will begin from July 24 in Hambantota while the ODIs begin from July 30 in Colombo and will be played till August 10.
India U19 Squad: Aryan Juyal, Anuj Rawat(c), Ayush Badoni, Harvik Desai, Harsh Tyagi, Mohit Jangra, Yatin Mangwani, Devdutt Padikkal, Akash Pande, Pawan Shah, Yash Rathod, Sameer Choudhary, Atharwa Taide, Arjun Tendulkar, Nehal Wadhera