Arjun Tendulkar, the last player to be sold at the IPL 2021 auction on Thursday, has thanked the Mumbai Indians franchise for showing faith in him. The youngster was picked up by the reigning IPL champions at his base price of INR 20 lakhs.
Son of legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, Arjun Tendulkar has been training with the Mumbai Indians for the past few years. He smashed a 31-ball unbeaten 77 and picked up three wickets for 41 runs in the Police Invitation Shield cricket tournament ahead of the IPL auction.
In a video shared by Mumbai Indians on their Twitter account, Arjun Tendulkar expressed his gratitude to the franchise. He said:
“Since childhood, I have been a die-hard fan of Mumbai Indians. I would like to thank the coaches, owners and the support staff for showing faith in me. I can’t wait to put on the blue and gold (jersey).”
Arjun Tendulkar also turned out for Mumbai in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, picking two wickets at an economy of 9.57 in 2 matches.
Apart from Arjun Tendulkar, Mumbai Indians also bought Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jimmy Neesham, Yudhvir Charak, Marco Jansen and Piyush Chawla at the IPL 2021 auction.
Mumbai Indians managements reacts to picking Arjun Tendulkar at the auction
Unsurprisingly, Mumbai Indians were trolled on social media for picking Arjun Tendulkar, with many fans claiming the surname did the trick for the youngster. However, the Mumbai Indians management believes there is more to Arjun Tendulkar than being the son of a legend.
“We’ve looked at it purely on a skill basis. I mean, there is going to be a big tag on his head because of Sachin. But, luckily, he’s a bowler, not a batsman. So I think Sachin will be very proud if he could bowl like Arjun. I think it’s going to be a learning process for Arjun. He just started playing for Mumbai, and now the franchise. He will learn the ropes; he will evolve. He’s still young. A very focused young man.”
Zaheer Khan, Mumbai Indians’ Director of Cricket Operations, also vouched for the young cricketer's skills. According to Zaheer, Arjun Tendulkar will have to prove himself and show that he belongs to this level. Zaheer was quoted as saying during a virtual press conference:
"I have spent lots of time with him in the nets, trying to teach him a few tricks of the trade. He is a hard working kid and he is keen on learning. That's the exciting part. The added pressure of the name Sachin Tendulkar is always going to be there with him, something he will have to live by. He is just a youngster coming into the side. But he has to prove himself, has to show the coaching staff and the think tank of the team that he has got the goods to belong there. So what he does at the highest level in his hands.”
Mumbai Indians are the defending champions in the IPL, and also the most successful franchise in the league’s history, with five titles.